20D.200.10 Transfer of Development Rights Program.

20D.200.10-010 Purpose.

Redmond’s Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program is designed to protect environmentally critical areas, historic resources (including archaeological resources), open spaces, and the ability to provide affordable housing, by transferring the right to develop on the land needing protection to land more suitable for urban development. To accomplish this, the City grants property owners in “sending” areas (i.e., those areas needing protection) transferable development rights that the owner can transfer to another person or legal entity, in return for the conservation or preservation of the protected land. (Ord. 2353)

20D.200.10-020 Sending Area Properties.

(1)    The following properties, or portions thereof, may qualify as sending area properties, and thus be eligible for transferring development rights:

(a)    Property zoned Urban Recreation (UR).

(b)    Historic sites.

(c)    The following environmentally critical areas:

(i)    Property within a Species Protection Area (defined in RCDG 20D.140.20-010(2)).

(ii)    Property within a Category I or Category II wetland or wetland buffer (defined in RCDG 20D.140.30-020).

(iii)    Property within a Class I or Class II stream or stream buffer (defined in RCDG 20D.140.20-010(4)).

(iv)    Property within a landslide hazard area or buffer (defined in RCDG 20D.140.60-010(1)(b)).

(d)    Property containing a contiguous forest community characterized by a qualified arborist or ecologist as:

(i)    Having three layers of vegetation – canopy, subcanopy/shrub, and herb – dominated by native species; and

(ii)    Having at least 20 percent of canopy trees estimated to be at least 50 years of age; and

(iii)    Measuring at least one acre.

(2)    To be eligible for the TDR Program, the land shall meet the definition of sending properties in subsection (1) of this section, and:

(a)    Be wholly undeveloped or in agricultural or recreational use; or

(b)    Be partially undeveloped or vacant, where, at the determination of the Administrator, existing uses outside areas defined in subsections (1)(c) and (1)(d) of this section could be maintained without compromising the ecological functions and values of those areas; or

(c)    Listed on the Redmond Heritage Resource Register or otherwise eligible under Chapter 20D.57 RCDG, Historic and Archaeological Resources.

(d)    The land’s development rights or development capacity shall not have been exhausted, sold, or transferred; or limited by easements, deed restrictions, equitable servitudes, or similar measures to any of the following:

(i)    Agriculture, recreation, open space; or

(ii)    Preservation of environmentally critical areas and their buffers, as defined in subsection (1) of this section, through means including, but not limited to, a native growth protection easement or open space easement;

(iii)    Alteration by a preservation easement, or through any agreement by any governmental agency or nonprofit organization;

(iv)    For historic landmarks or historic landmark districts, the significant features shall not have been previously preserved in whole and in perpetuity by a facade, easement, a preservation easement, or through any agreement by any governmental agency or nonprofit organization other than this TDR program.

(e)    No development rights shall be granted for any property for which a reasonable use has been granted under RCDG 20D.140.10-190, Reasonable Use Provision. Nothing in this chapter shall require that a reasonable use granted under the Reasonable Use Provision equal the economic value of the TDRs granted under this division.

(f)    No development rights shall be granted for any part of the property the Comprehensive Plan designates for use as a collector, arterial street, or highway.

(3)    Sending Area Eligibility Map. The following map gives general guidance in identifying properties eligible to send TDRs. Some eligible areas, including wetlands and forested areas, are not mapped.

(Ord. 2353)

20D.200.10-030 Receiving Area Properties.

(1)    Properties eligible to use development rights transferred from sending areas shall be properties within the following zones: all Downtown districts as defined in RCDG 20C.40.10, Downtown Districts; Overlake Village District (OV); General Commercial (GC); Overlake Business and Advanced Technology (OBAT); Gateway Design District (GDD); Business Park (BP); Manufacturing Park (MP); and Industry (I).

    Receiving Area Eligibility Map. The TDR Receiving Area Eligibility map gives general guidance in identifying properties eligible to receive TDRs.

(Ord. 2385; Ord. 2353)

20D.200.10-040 Calculating Development Rights.

(1)    The following table assigns development rights multipliers for all eligible sending areas except historic landmarks.


Development Rights per Acre of Eligible Land











































1DT = all Downtown Districts

(2)    If R-4/C pre-annexation zoning is implemented in the North Redmond “wedge” between SR 202 and 154th Place NE, sending area credit will be granted based on the R-1 multiplier in the preceding table.

(3)    If a zone is not listed in the table in this section, the Administrator shall classify the zone in the table row that contains the zone most similar to it.

(4)    Development Right Transfers for Historic Landmarks in a Commercial Zone. For the purpose of awarding TDRs, property in commercial zones with eligible historic structures shall be considered to be vacant, and shall be calculated according to the table in subsection (1) of this section. For example, a property with a historic structure in a GC zone shall be awarded 7.6 TDRs per eligible acre of the property. (Ord. 2385; Ord. 2353)

20D.200.10-050 Use of Development Rights.

(1)    Each development right may be used as a right for any one of the following, subject to the limitations of this division:

(a)    To authorize an additional 8,712 square feet of floor area;

(b)    To substitute a requirement to provide 8,712 square feet of public or private park land;

(c)    To increase the maximum impervious surface or maximum lot coverage by 8,712 square feet, provided that the total increase does not exceed 10 percent of the site;

(d)    To increase the height of a structure, including above-ground structured parking, by one story across each 8,712-square-foot increment of gross floor area or parking floor plate. In no case shall total building height be greater than one story above the height allowed by the underlying zone; the height bonus shall not apply to structures within the shoreline jurisdiction or within the Downtown height limit overlay areas; or

(e)    Adding up to five parking stalls, provided that the total number of parking stalls does not exceed:

(i)    Twenty-five percent above the maximum allowed by the underlying zone in the Downtown and Overlake Neighborhoods; or

(ii)    Thirty percent above the maximum allowed by the underlying zone in all other neighborhoods.

(iii)    In no case shall the number of parking stalls permitted by this division exceed five stalls per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

(iv)    This bonus shall not be combined with any other parking ratio bonus.

(v)    The bonuses in subsections (1)(e)(i) and (ii) of this section shall expire by July 31, 2012, provided that, no later than the beginning of August 2011, the City shall undertake a study to evaluate whether the bonuses should be modified. That study shall take into account at a minimum an analysis of transit service, commute trip reduction programs, and parking usage. The bonus for the Overlake Neighborhood may be amended earlier as a part of the Bellevue Redmond Overlake Transportation Study (BROTS) update.

(2)    A fraction of a development right shall be entitled to the corresponding fraction of any of the above.

(3)    A site plan application using Transferred Development Rights shall contain a statement describing the development proposed, the zoning classification of the property, the amount and serial number of the development rights used, how the development rights are proposed to be used, and a notation of the recording number of the conservation easement on file with King County. (Ord. 2353)

20D.200.10-060 Affordable Housing Bonus.

(1)    When zoning or site planning constraints prevent project proponents from building bonus market-rate units to which the proponents would otherwise be entitled under Chapter 20D.30 RCDG, Affordable Housing, the Administrator may convert the number of bonus market-rate units not proposed to be contained on the site into TDRs for use or sale.

(2)    If granted, the quantity of TDRs shall be equal to the number of bonus market-rate homes not developed on the project site due to zoning or site constraints. (Ord. 2353)