The counties in Delaware have a way for agricultural land owners to benefit from development without having to actually sell their land for development. Transfer of Development Rights or TDR programs allow private developers purchase the development rights from a landowner in a designated “sending zone” or an area designated for agricultural preservation. These development rights are then transferred to a place where development is desired (the “receiving zone”). By purchasing TDRs, private developers can build more housing units or commercial square footage than he or she could without buying TDRs. The benefit of a TDR program is that land is preserved by private rather than public dollars.
Each of these programs are county sponsored and allow for transfer of development rights only with same county’s designated growth area. Delaware Land Advisors can find a developer interested in acquiring your rights, negotiate the price and sales agreement and represent you through the process. The value of the development rights varies quite a bit based on county, type of unit to be build and market timing.