P&Z says loosenTDR rules | AspenTimes.com

P&Z says loosenTDR rules

Jeremy Heiman

Pitkin County is on the way to liberalizing its system of transferable development rights.New legislation on TDRs received a go-ahead recommendation from the county’s Planning and Zoning Commissioners last week. The ordinance would loosen the restrictions on where TDRs can come from and where they can be used, but would only apply to TDRs used to allow increased house size.”We’re basically just liberalizing the use of TDRs so that they can be used anywhere in the county to increase square footage,” said Cindy Houben, the county’s head planner.The county’s newly passed growth-management legislation has created a greater demand for TDRs. This is because the ordinances reduced to 5,750 square feet the maximum house size allowed without a TDR or without going through a quota system. It’s hoped that the proposed TDR changes will open up the market a bit.”We’re going to lift the restrictions on where you get a TDR from to allow the market to flow a little better,” said planning technician Brian McNellis.An owner of a property within the county’s Rural and Remote zone district has the option of selling the development right off his or her land to the owner of a property in other areas of the county. Development on the rural and remote property is thus prevented, and the owner of the receiver site gains the right to build a house bigger than otherwise allowed under the local zoning.Currently, the owner of a property in what is known as the “Non-Metro Area, any place downvalley from Aspen Village, can only apply a TDR from the Fryingpan Valley. Owners of property within the “Metro Area,” up valley from Aspen Village, can apply TDRs from preservation sites in the Little Annie/Richmond Hill, Maroon/Castle, Independence/Lincoln or Woody Creek/Hunter Creek planning areas.The new legislation, said county planner Suzanne Wolff, would allow the use of TDRs from any of these areas outside the Metro Area. But it would only allow property owners to increase their allowable house size. The rules for using TDRs to establish new units on newly created lots would remain the same.The county commissioners directed the planning staff to draft the changes to TDR regulations as soon as possible after growth management legislation was completed, Wolff said, because of the increased demand.

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