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Plowing New Ground

2001 Revised Edition

General Information (pdf, 140KB)

  1. What is the purpose of the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program?
  2. What is the Rural Density Transfer (RDT) zone?
  3. What are the benefits of being in the RDT zone?
  4. If land is zoned RDT, what can an owner who wishes to continue farming do with the land?
  5. For land zoned RDT, what can a farmer who wants to develop do with the land?
  6. Is there a maximum and minimum lot size?
  7. Is there a limitation on the possible subdivision configurations?
  8. Are lots for the landowner's children exempt?
  9. Can the number of lots created for the landowner's children exceed the density of one dwelling unit per 25 acres?
  10. Do all residences, including tenant houses and mobile homes, account for the allowable TDR's for the property?
  11. Can an owner deed off a portion of the farm?
  12. What happens if the property was deeded prior to 1981?
  13. What is the relationship of the "sending" and "receiving" areas to the TDR program?

Sending Areas (pdf, 678KB)

  1. How are develop rights transferred?
  2. How are develop rights valued?
  3. Can TDR's be recaptured?
  4. Must a farmland owner sell all of the develop rights from the farmland?
  5. Once developed rights are sold, is the property's develop potential reduced accordingly?
  6. May the farmland owner purchase develop rights from someone else and then develop the property at a higher density than in the RDT zone?
  7. If a farmland owner sells land for public use, may the development rights either be sold or retained?
  8. What is the long-term develop potential once the development rights are sold?
  9. How are properties of less than 25 acres affected?
  10. What happens to properties in the agricultural reserve which do not conform to the provisions of the RDT zone?

Receiving Areas (pdf, 597KB)

  1. Who can buy TDR's?
  2. What is the procedure for severing a TDR from the land, but not transferring it?
  3. How is a parcel of land identified as a receiving area?
  4. What are receiving area zones?
  5. Are the area master plans and zoning maps the only way to identify receiving areas?
  6. Can TDR's be used in any receiving area anywhere in the county?
  7. Does an owner in a receiving area have to go through a rezoning process?
  8. May a developer in a receiving area petition to have TDR optional density increased?
  9. What can a developer do with unused purchased development rights when the property in the receiving area is fully developed?
  10. May a property owner in a designated receiving area develop it without purchasing development rights?
  11. As a potential purchaser of development rights, how can a developer check their validity?
  12. Can an owner resubdivide land in the receiving area after develop rights have been used?
  13. What is the smallest number of units which a developer needs to make use of development rights?

Density Option Develop Procedures in a TDR Receiving Area (pdf, 549KB)

  1. What is the method for calculating the number of possible TDR's for property in a TDR receiving area?
  2. Are TDR's required for moderately priced dwelling units calculated in accordance with chapter 25-A of the county law?
  3. What is the minimum number of TDR's needed for a property, if developed at a density less than the maximum number of TDR's recommended in the master plan?
  4. Can the two-thirds requirement be waived for any reason?
  5. Does the TDR recommendation on a master plan represent the actual number of units that will be approved on a preliminary plan, site plan, or final record plat?
  6. If the preliminary plan only covers a portion of the property, are the TDR's calculated on the entire property or only that portion covered by the preliminary plan?
  7. Are the dwelling units or lots, resulting from the use of TDR's, calculated on the entire property or only that portion covered by the preliminary plan?
  8. If the number of required TDR's is based on the acreage of the property shown on a preliminary plan, is this method of calculation also applied to record plats?
  9. What standards are used for development when applying the TDR density option?
  10. When applying MPDU Provisions to a TDR development, can the number of dwelling units exceed the TDR density option as expressed in the master plan recommendation?
  11. What is the procedure for transferring development rights?
  12. Do TDR's have serial numbers?
  13. What is the length of time to complete the TDR process?
  14. Does the use of TDR's in a receiving area affect the water and sewer category?
  15. Can available TDR's from two or more parcels of land in the RDT zone be used for an increase in density on a single property designated as a receiving area?
  16. Are adjoining owners and citizen groups notified of a proposed TDR subdivision plan?
  17. What sections of the zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations give guidance to the TDR process?

Rural Open Space (pdf, 372KB)

  1. What is the rural open space?
  2. How does the plan propose to accomplish this objective?
  3. How does the RC zone differ from the RDT zone?
  4. How does the RC zone differ from the Rural zone?
  5. What are the benefits of being in the RC zone?
  6. What are the possible subdivision configurations in the RC zone?
  7. Where is the rural cluster zone applied?
  8. How is open space maintained?
  9. What will prevent future subdivisions of the open space?
  10. What are the development options in the RC zone?
  11. Who determines if an owner may cluster?
  12. What is the smallest lot size?
  13. Must an owner have community water and sewer to cluster in the RC zone?
  14. What land uses are allowed in the RC zone?
  15. Are MPDU's required in the agricultural zone?

Other Farmland Preservation Techniques (pdf, 319KB)

  1. Can farms zoned other than RDT or RC still receive farmland assessment?
  2. Are there other programs to protect farmland?
  3. Does the State sponsor any programs to protect farmland?
  4. Does the County sponsor any programs to protect farmland?
  5. How does the Maryland Environmental Trust protect farmland?
  6. Can a farmland owner participate in more than one preservation program?
  7. Does any one preservation program offer more advantages to the farmland owner