Legal Memorandum: County Land Code Provisions for TDRs

Issue: What are the Summit County, Colorado Zoning Code Provisions Relating to Transferable Development Rights (TDRs)?

Area of Law: Real Estate Law
Keywords: Transferable development rights; Zoning
Jurisdiction: Colorado
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: County Land Code § 3506.01 et seq; 53 U. Colo. L. Rev. 165 (1981); County Land Code § 3506.02.A.1; County Land Code § 3506.02.A.2 § 3506.02.A.3.d; County Land Code Section 3809.02 et. seq.; County Land Code Section 3809.03 et. seq.; County Land Code Section 3809.04 et. seq.; County Land Code § 3506.A.3.a.; County Land Code § 3506.02.B.1. ; County Land Code § 3502.B.3 ; County Land Code § 3502.D.; County Land Code § 3502.D.2.a.ii.; County Land Code § 3502.E, .F.
Date: 11/01/2012

The Summit County Land Use and Development Code (“County Land Code”) contains provisions for TDRs.  See County Land Code § 3506.01 et seq.  The TDR program is intended to protect backcountry, rural and “environmentally sensitive areas” and preserve “community character.”  Id. § 3506.01.  For an overview of the property-law theory behind TDRs, see James H. Foster, Comment, Transferability of Development Rights, 53 U. Colo. L. Rev. 165 (1981).

The TDR program is mandatory in the case of certain Planned Unit Development (PUD) upzonings or rezonings:

Rezonings/Upzonings: An application for a zoning amendment or PUD modification that would increase the development rights (or equivalent thereof) associated with permitted or previously approved conditional use(s) in any one or more of the following ways shall transfer development rights accordingly:

a.         Residential Density: Increases the residential density of development beyond the maximum permitted by the existing zoning district; and/or

b.         Floor Area: Increases the permitted residential, commercial or industrial floor area beyond that permitted by the existing zoning district or this Code; and/or

c.         Vehicle Trips: Increases the total number of vehicle trips generated by commercial or industrial development beyond that permitted by the existing zoning district; and/or

d.         Mixed Uses/Combination of New Uses: Increases the overall activity levels beyond the maximum permitted by the existing zoning district.  For example, where a combination of new uses are proposed on a property (e.g., mix of residential and commercial), it shall be shown that overall activity levels (i.e. residential […]

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