Vancouver, Washington lies opposite Portland, Oregon on the north bank of the Columbia River. In 1825, the Hudson Bay Company moved its headquarters here from Astoria and Fort Vancouver became the center for fur trading in the Pacific Northwest.
Vancouver, Washington offers the TDR option for any structure listed in the State or National Registers of Historic Places or designated on a local register.
The City is rightly proud of its historic heritage and has adopted a Historic Preservation Overlay District ordinance that has created two Conservation Areas. One area features the Providence Academy and the other contains the best remaining historic properties in the Lower Main Street portion of downtown Vancouver. The Overlay District also provides a TDR provision for any structure listed in the State or National Registers of Historic Places or designated on a local register.
Specifically, a developer may transfer unused development potential from a designated historic landmark to any other site in the same zoning district as long as the resulting receiving site building would not create a hazard to low-flying aircraft. Unused development potential is defined as the floor area allowable on the site of the historic structure minus the floor area of the historic structure. The transferable floor area is created upon recordation of a covenant that the historic property will be maintained in its historic condition. Owners may transfer unused development potential in increments.
The TDR provisions remain used, probably because developers are satisfied with the densities allowed under current zoning. In fact, many developers are not willing or able to achieve the minimum density limits required by Vancouver’s zoning code.