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dpdp020983

dpdp020983

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Published by: Chs Blog on May 05, 2011
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Department of Planning and Development May 4, 2011 v10
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Proposal to Establish a Transfer of Development Potential (TDP) Program inthe Pike/Pine Neighborhood
Summary and Schedule
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is sponsoring a proposal to establish a Transfer of Development Potential (TDP) program for the Pike/Pine neighborhood. This Department of Planning and Development (DPD) report presents the proposal for public review and comment.The goal of the proposal is to provide additional incentives for maintaining the Pike/Pineneighborhood’s existing stock of “character structures” (defined as buildings that are at least 75years old), while continuing to protect the area’s special character.
Project Background
 In response to an initiative sponsored by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the DPD has beeninvestigating measures that promote the conservation of existing buildings and uses thatcontribute to the special character of the Pike/Pine Neighborhood. Phase I of the project wascompleted in June, 2009, with Council adoption of Ordinance 123020. This legislation amendedthe Pike/Pine Overlay District to expand the overlay area, rename the District to add“Conservation” to its title, add provisions limiting the scale of new buildings, and encourage newprojects to retain existing character structures and to provide spaces for small businesses at streetlevel and for arts facilities.The Council and the Pike/Pine community completed Phase II of the project in September, 2010with the adoption of Ordinance 123392. This legislation adopted
 
revised Neighborhood DesignGuidelines for the Pike/Pine Urban Center Village to better implement conservation goals and toupdate the text and illustrations to clarify community priorities.DPD is now proposing the final phase of the Pike/Pine project, which would adopt a TDPprogram for the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District (District). Once established, theprogram could be expanded to allow for additional receiving areas beyond Pike/Pine if, throughthe appropriate public process, other neighborhoods were willing to increase developmentdensity in their areas to accommodate TDP from Pike/Pine sending sites. The current revision of the zoning in South Lake Union to carry out the area’s updated Neighborhood Plan presents anopportunity to consider sending Pike/Pine development potential to this nearby urban center.
How TDP Works
A TDP program provides an incentive for property owners to retain existing structures byallowing them to benefit from the added development potential created by the zoning—not bytearing their building down and building a bigger one, but by retaining the existing structure andselling the unused development potential on their lot to another property owner. The unused or“extra” development potential is generally the difference between the floor area of the existingbuilding on the lot and the floor area that could be built in a new building developed to themaximum limits allowed by the zoning on the same lot (see Exhibit A below).
 
Department of Planning and Development May 4, 2011 v10
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Exhibit A: Unused development potential available to transfer in a TDP program
A TDP program provides the mechanism for moving development rights from “sending” sites to“receiving” sites. Sending sites are lots from which the unused development rights are sold andtransferred. This transaction is allowed generally in exchange for maintaining some existingfeature on the sending site, such as a valued structure that may be at risk of demolition. Once thedevelopment rights are sold, they are no longer available to be used on the sending site for futureredevelopment. Funds from the sale of transferred development rights may be used to maintainor improve the structure on the sending site. Often a condition for allowing the sale of development rights is that the owner of the sending site agrees to conditions placed on theproperty to ensure the intended public benefit.Once purchased, the development rights are transferred to a receiving site. The receiving sitemust be located in an area where the zoning allows the transferred floor area to be added to anew project by permitting additional height or density above the limits otherwise allowed forprojects not using TDP. In short, the development rights purchased from an existing structure onthe sending site are “transferred” to add floor area to a new project on the receiving site (seeExhibit B below).
 
Department of Planning and Development May 4, 2011 v10
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Exhibit B: Transfer of unused development potential from a sending site to a receiving site
While a TDP program requires receiving areas that allow development to exceed the establishedlimits on height or density, the potential impacts associated with the increase in developmentcapacity on the receiving site are, in theory, offset by the reduction in development capacity onthe sending site. This redistribution of density maintains a balance in the overall intensity of development permitted within the larger area, and arguably does not result in any new or greaterenvironmental impacts related to development density, particularly if the sending and receivingsites are either in the same area or in areas that are close to each other.
TDP Proposal for Pike/Pine1. Background on Transfer of Development Potential in Pike/Pine
The Pike/Pine Phase I effort included a preliminary assessment of a transfer of developmentrights (TDR)
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program. In September 2008, the City hired a consultant to examine the viabilityof a TDR program that would allow lots in Pike/Pine to transfer unused development rights toDowntown receiving sites. The consultant’s report concluded that forecasted commercialdevelopment downtown would not generate sufficient demand for TDR to support a successfulprogram. There is already significant supply of potential TDR from existing downtown sendingsites (which include designated landmark structures, low-income housing structures, contributingbuildings in historic districts, and public open space). The consultant found that competitionbetween TDR from sending sites in Pike/Pine and downtown could adversely affect the successof both programs. The consultant’s report, Pike/Pine Conservation Study: Phase 2, is available atDPD’s website at:http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/PikePineConservationOverlayDistrict/RelatedDocuments/  
1
 
Th
e City distinguishes between
commercial
development rights transferred from a site (TDR)and
residential
development rights transferred from a site (TDP).

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