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Transfer of Development Rights

File No.:  CAM13-01936

Project Location
Totem Lake Urban Center

Project Description
The City of Kirkland is studying the creation of a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program within the Totem Lake Urban Center.  Totem Lake is a designated Urban Center:  an area designed to support higher levels and densities of population, housing, employment, and activity.

Existing plans for Totem Lake support transformation of the business district and neighborhood into a vital urban center, making it a home to higher levels of new residents and jobs.  The City is studying the integration of regional TDR (transfer of development rights from "sending areas" - rural and resource areas outside of the city) to the "receiving area", the Totem Lake Urban Center.  The study will evaluate the demand and potential for increased development in Totem Lake, and study the feasibility of financing programs that come with TDR to fund amenities and improvements in Totem Lake.

TDR graphic

Under a TDR program, landowners are paid the development value of their property, while retaining the resource uses (such as farming and timber).  When the development rights are removed from the parcel, a conservation easement is placed on the land, permanently protecting it from development.  This preserves the rural character and open space.  Developers who purchase these rights or "credits" then receive bonuses, such as additional height, residential units or square footage, to use in areas determined to be more suitable for growth.

Recently passed legislation, the Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program (LCLIP) allows cities to gain access to financing from increases in property values for revitalizing and redeveloping areas that accept these development credits.  These funds could then help to provide the infrastructure and amenities needed to support increased growth in Totem Lake.

TDR programs currently exist in Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, Sammamish,  and many other cities and counties in Washington State.  For more information about TDR programs, please see the links provided on this page.

Public Notice
All who have an interest in this topic are encouraged to attend the meetings noted below. Your participation can help to ensure that any future project is successful for the community.

If you would like to be kept informed via email of upcoming public meetings and meeting packet information, sign up for the project list serv by clicking on the 'Kirkland Email Alert' button below.

Kirkland Email Alert Small

Upcoming Meetings - All dates subject to change

Staff memos for the associated meeting dates can be found on the applicable web page:   City Council.

June 3, 2014 City Council consideration of Resolution of Intent to adopt TDR policies and regulations as part of the Comprehensive Plan update.
 - Final TDR Report

Planning & Building Department
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries:
Contact us via the: 
Our Kirkland Customer Service Portal
T. 425.587.3600 | F. 425.587.3232