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When TDCs Work

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

TDC programs work well only when the residents of a designated Receiver Site are willing to accept the change in density in their area or neighborhood. That also typifies the democratic process. Otherwise, the process is a change in zoning made without the residents’ acquiescence.

Even though the adopted TDC program of San Luis Obispo County specifically states: “Support of the Community,” is necessary, violations of this Section persist.

Case in point: most recently, an area south of Atascadero was under consideration. Through an ad hoc committee, written surveys were sent to the property owners involved. More than 70 per cent responded, stating they wanted out of the TDC program; they wanted no community change.

The area has many problems for a greater population: substandard roads (unable to meet requirements of the greater traffic engendered); water shortages; drainage problems; need for septic systems and leach fields in spite of soils inadequacies; no natural gas available for new homes (propane or electric only); no city water (many on wells).

Still, the County Supervisors voted to make a significant modification to the zoning, from 2-1/2 acres to 2 acres. If everyone who could split his property did so, it would result in almost 100 new homes. Each of the Supervisors who voted for this change – against the advice of the Planning Commission – lives about 20 miles from the Receiver Site, and apparently not one of them had toured the area to see how it would be changed.

As a result, a community of acreages will undergo gradual change and greater impaction upon services and resources.

So, the question is: Is the TDC an effective vehicle to use existing land as an efficient environmental development tool?

Yes and No. Yes, if the involved area owners are in support of the process, and resources and services can support the increased density. Otherwise, the answer is an emphatic No.

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

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What Are Transfer Development Credits?

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Lately, TDCs (Transfer Development Credits) have been in the news in our area. TDCs were devised to allow local ranchers or farmers to keep their acreage untouched, if they have property they could develop. Instead, they may take those lots and arrange to transfer the development rights to a so-called Transfer Site, through sales to developers.

Transfer Sites are areas where the County decides more development can theoretically be built without destroying the character and atmosphere of a neighborhood. The rancher/farmer sells his credits to a developer, realizing a profit from his land, and the developer then obtains the right to split a property within the Transfer Site area and build on the lots thus created.

Next Week: Who Wins, Who Loses?

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero