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Transfer Development Rights

A dozen Counties in Maryland 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 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.

Transfer Development Rights for Sale


Howard County

Property – Curtis Farm located off of Waterloo Road, Ellicott City
Acreage: 7.46 acres
Zoning: R-20 (two density units per acre)
TDR InformationUnder the newly installed neighborhood preservation  regulations the property is granted 13 Transfer Development Rights which are available for sale . The regulations allow for the transfer of development rights to a sending parcel located in a growth area such as town center, Rt. 1 or east of Rt. 32.

This property can transfer density as follows – 13 TDRs for single family houses 26 TDRs for town houses 39 TDRs for multi-family units

Offering information:  These TDRs are currently available with all of the engineering required to create the sending plat already completed. Buyer to pay all associated cost required to create the receiving plat  and any engineering, legal and county fees. Seller will pay for the cost of legal review of documents and Delaware Land Advisors Advisors consulting fee.

Price$60,000 per TDR.