West Pikeland, Pennsylvania

West Pikeland Township, population 3,551, is located in the center of Chester County, roughly 25 miles west of downtown Philadelphia. The Township retains much of its rural character and has established three village preservation districts. One of these districts houses the historic spa community of Yellow Springs, which played a prominent role during the American Revolutionary War and Civil War eras.

West Pikeland uses TDR to preserve farmland, sensitive natural areas and community character.

The Township has adopted a TDR program designed to preserve prime farmland, sensitive natural areas and community character. Sending sites must be located within the Residential & Conservation (RC) District, which covers roughly two thirds of the Township’s land area. When a sending site owner elects to use the TDR option, at least 80 percent of the parcel must be permanently preserved and any unrestricted parcel portion must be useable under use, area, dimensional, performance and other code standards. Each sending parcel must retain ay least one development right. To qualify for TDRs, the easement must permanently restrict the parcel from future development for any purpose other than agriculture, public park land, conservation and similar uses. One of these allowed uses is single-family residences at a maximum density of one unit per 20 acres.

The number of TDRs available for transfer from a sending site is calculated by subtracting all acreage already restricted against development by covenant, easement or deed restriction and multiplying the remainder by 0.6.

Receiving sites can be approved by conditional use permit on any parcel zoned Residential Development (RD) and on non-prime-agricultural parcels zoned RC. Through TDR, maximum density can increase by roughly 50 percent. Each of four receiving area scenarios has a specified maximum density when the TDR option is employed. The bonus develeopment allowed per TDR varies depending on the nature of the bonus dwelling unit: one TDR yields 1.1 single family detached dwelling units, 1.4 attached units, 1.7 multi-family units or 2.0 mobile home units. The code allows projects using TDR to reduce open space as density increases but maintains a minimum open space requirement of 50 percent in the RC zone and 30 percent in the RD zone. In addition, through conditional use permit approval, projects incorporating 20 or more TDRs can receive modifications to area and bulk requirements.