Winchester/Clark County, Kentucky

Clark County, population 35,613 (2010), lies 12 miles east of Lexington in central Kentucky. The City of Winchester, population 18,368 (2010), shares a Joint City-County Zoning Ordinance with the County. In 1998, the County adopted an ordinance that implemented some of the agricultural provisions of the comprehensive plan. In 1999, Winchester-Clark County adopted a second zoning code amendment designed to protect agriculture by allowing cluster development, family farm home sites and TDR. In December 2011, these code sections remained unchanged from 1999. Consequently, the process section below is identical to the profile that appeared in the 2003 book Beyond Takings and Givings.


Sending areas include land zoned A-1. A sending site is allocated one TDR for each portion of land with 250 feet of frontage on a county road with a minimum depth of 200 feet. The County is divided into four areas for the purpose of determining TDR transfer ratios and density bonus. If the sending and receiving sites are in the same area, the sending site TDR has a multiple of one, meaning that an extra unit can be built on the receiving site for each TDR transferred from the sending site. However, each TDR can be multiplied by a factor of 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5 when transfers occur between areas depending on which of four areas the sending and receiving sites are located within. For example, a multiple of 2.5 is used if the sending site is located in Area #1, the southwest quadrant of the County, and the receiving site is located in Area # 4 the southeast quadrant of the County. Furthermore, the numbering of the four areas reflects the importance of that area’s sending sites and transfers may not occur from a higher numbered area to a lower numbered area.

All proposed transfers must be approved by the Planning Commission and do not become effective until a deed is recorded stating the number of development rights transferred and the number of rights remaining on the sending property.

Receiving areas include land zoned Crossroads Community, a zoning district designed to enable rural settlements to continue to exist and allow for limited growth. Within the Crossroads Community District, the maximum density is one unit per acre without TDR. The 1999 ordinance called for the planning Commission to adopt subdivision regulations to permit TDRs to be used to increase densities in these Crossroads Community Districts.

Program Status

In November 2004 update, Robert Blanton, Planning Director, reported that the subdivision rules for permitting TDRs in the Crossroads Community Districts had been adopted and that the program had experienced its first two transfers.