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Chesterfield Officials receive TDR Planning Grant
For Immediate Release: Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

TDR Grant Agriculture Secretary Art Brown, Jr., (center) presented a check for $10,000 to Chesterfield Mayor Lawrence Durr (second from left) as partial reimbursement for the Township's efforts to establish a transfer of development rights land preservation program. Attending the presentation were Assemblyman Melvin Cottrell (far left), former Mayor G. Richard Lange (third from left) under whose administration the effort began, Burlington County Planning Director Susan Kraft (third from right), State Senator Martha Bark, and Burlington County Freeholder Director William Haines, Jr.

Art Brown, Jr., New Jersey Agriculture Secretary and chairman of the state's Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Bank, today presented a $10,000 check to Chesterfield Township Mayor Lawrence H. Durr and other local officials at the municipal building in Chesterfield. Chesterfield Township is the second municipality to adopt an enabling TDR program ordinance under the Burlington County Transfer of Development Rights Demonstration Act. Chesterfield's interest in establishing a TDR program reflects the desire of its residents to retain the rural landscape of the township while encouraging planned economic and residential development. Moreover, the TDR program can steer potential development into designated receiving areas, thereby minimizing potential conflicts between farmers and non-farming neighbors. Under the TDR program, a municipality can identify rural and agricultural areas, environmentally sensitive areas, open space, forested lands, aquifers, coastal areas, reservoir watersheds, wetlands and historic sites for preservation while targeting limited locations for clustered residential and commercial growth. By law, the TDR Bank is authorized to reimburse municipalities which have adopted viable development transfer ordinances for up to 50 percent of the cost of the planning associated with the ordinance or $10,000, whichever is less. The TDR Bank was allocated $20 million under the Open Space Preservation Bond Act of 1989. A TDR program has four basic elements:

  1. A sending area, so called because the development potential would be transferred, or "sent," away from these areas. In sending areas, development would be restricted. An area designated by the municipality to "receive" development. These are the growth areas of the town where development would be permitted. Transferrable development credits, representing the development potential of a given property (the difference between the full development value and the farm value of the property). In order to build at a higher-than-zoned density in the receiving area, a developer would have to purchase credits from a landowner in a sending area. The purchase of development credits compensates those in the sending area where land development is restricted.
  2. A master plan and ordinances establishing the structure of the TDR program. The municipal planning board and governing body decides where growth can best be accommodated and supported, which areas of the township should be preserved as farmland or other open space and exactly how much growth the town should ultimately accommodate. Base densities are established throughout the township, with each specified area entitled to build a certain number and kind of units.

TDR programs can improve the development potential of areas zoned for development by awarding "development credits" to parcels in the preservation zone. The equity of landowners in restricted development areas is thereby protected because they can sell the credits to developers or, in some cases, to the TDR bank, for future development in an approved area. The TDR Bank is governed by a Board of Directors organized in January 1997. Members include the Secretary of Agriculture, the State Treasurer, Commissioners of the Departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation, Banking, and Community Affairs as well as the president of the State Board of Agriculture, the chairperson of the State Planning Commission, the president of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, and one farmer-member.