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Building community and creating affordable housing opportunities Steve Walker, Acting Director



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Program overview

  • Developers may use TDP to achieve extra floor area above the base floor area ratio (FAR) in certain South Downtown zones and in Multifamily Highrise zones.
  • TDP helps Seattle maintain a variable scale of buildings by allowing density to be moved from one site to another.

  • Eligible TDP sites, in certain areas and zones, include those with landmark buildings, contributing structures under SMC 23.66.032, and major open space.

  • Purchasers (developers) and sellers (owners of certified TDP) can negotiate sales directly. Or the City can purchase TDP and hold it in its “Transferable Development Rights Bank” for later resale.

  • All transactions, whether private or through the City, require execution and recording of a TDP Agreement between the owner of the TDP site and the City.

  • The TDP Agreement includes covenants that will run with the land.

  • TDP are validly transferred by Statutory Warranty Deed and are recognized by the courts as real property.

Code References:

  • SMC 23.49.023: Downtown — Extra residential floor area and hotel area in South Downtown; transferable development potential (TDP); limits on TDP sending sites
  • SMC 23.48.016: Seattle Mixed — Standards applicable to specific areas
  • SMC 23.58A.018: Incentive Provisions — Transfer of residential development potential

TDP Purchase:

  • Prior to MUP issuance, commercial developer must detail for the Office of Housing how all extra floor area above the base FAR and/or height limit will be achieved.

  • Per square foot sales price for certified TDP is negotiated between buyer and seller.

  • Contact Laura Hewitt Walker, at (206) 684-0429, for more information, including the availability of landmark TDP, South Downtown historic TDP, and open space TDP.

TDP Certification and TDR Bank Inquiries:

  • Contact Laura Hewitt Walker at Office of Housing, (206) 684-0429, for more information about Department of Planning & Development TDP certification and the City's TDR Bank.

  • Inquiries regarding the process for certification of open space TDP and sites may be directed to Dennis Meier, (206) 684-8270, in the Department of Planning & Development.

  • Inquiries regarding the process for certification of landmark TDP and South Downtown Historic TDP sites may be directed to Sarah Sodt, (206) 615-1786, in the Department of Neighborhoods' Historic Preservation Office.

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