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Pinelands Development Credit Program

Franklin Parker PreserveThe Pinelands Development Credit (PDC) Program is a regional transfer of development rights program that preserves important agricultural and ecological land. PDCs are allocated by the Commission to landowners in the Preservation Area District, Special Agricultural Production Area and Agricultural Production Area, which are the sending areas. These credits can be purchased by property owners and developers who are interested in developing land in Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, which serve as the receiving areas. Typically, PDCs are used to increase residential densities in Regional Growth Areas. They may also be used in association with municipal variances in Regional Growth Areas, Pinelands Villages and Pinelands Towns, as well as for waivers of strict compliance approved by the Commission in any Pinelands management area.

Once PDCs are "severed" from a sending area property, that property is permanently protected by a conservation or agricultural deed restriction. The credits associated with that property can then be sold. Credits are bought and sold in one-quarter credit units called "rights."

The Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) sets forth the regulations that govern the PDC program, including credit allocation formulas and zoning requirements for Regional Growth Areas. The Commission is responsible for issuing Letters of Interpretation, allocating PDCs to individual parcels, determining how many PDCs are required for proposed development projects and ensuring that the necessary PDCs are redeemed before such projects proceed. A separate entity, the Pinelands Development Credit Bank, is responsible for issuing PDC Certificates, ensuring the recording of required deed restrictions on sending area parcels, maintaining a registry of PDCs available for sale and processing all PDC transactions. The PDC Bank is also authorized to buy and sell PDCs in limited circumstances, when doing so will not impair the private market.

In September 2011, the Pinelands Commission assumed responsibility for the operation and administration of the Pinelands Development Credit Bank. Although the PDC Bank is now physically located at the Pinelands Commission office, it remains a separate entity, governed by its own board of directors. At the end of each fiscal year, the PDC Bank publishes an annual report that summarizes all PDC-related activity, including allocations, severances, sales and redemptions.

As of June 2023, 57,617 acres in the Pinelands Area have been permanently preserved through the PDC Program.

Further details about the PDC Program may be obtained by contacting or by referring to the PDC fact sheet.