King County transfer of development rights program to conserve rural land

August 14, 2012

By Staff

King County and Seattle leaders unveiled a land-use program July 24 similar to the successful Issaquah program used to conserve the Park Pointe site on Tiger Mountain.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said the program is meant to improve infrastructure in Seattle and preserve 25,000 acres of forests and farmland in rural areas.

The Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program is the result of collaboration among the city and county, and the nonprofit organization Forterra. The program enables cities to access a portion of King County’s property tax increment resulting from development if a certain percentage of development results from the use of transferable development rights, or TDRs.

The program is similar to the transfer of development rights used by Issaquah officials to prevent development on forested Park Pointe, a slice of Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School.

Under the agreement approved in March 2011, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead, and, as a result, preserved more than 140 acres in the process.

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