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Sammamish Town Center (not licensed)

Transfer of Development Rights

How transferring development rights works

Zoning establishes density standards for sites. This program allows the increase of permitted density at specific sites in approved areas.

The City of Sammamish's Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program allows landowners to sell development rights from their land (a "sending site") to a developer. The developer then can use these rights to increase density on their project property (a "receiving site").

In exchange for selling its development rights, a sending site property will have a conservation easement placed on it. The conservation easement ensures that the land will be preserved for the public benefit. The receiving site gains the ability to increase density beyond what would otherwise be allowed.

Transferring development rights encourages development in targeted areas while preserving other areas.

Sammamish has three distinct TDR programs

  • An Interlocal TDR Program with King County
  • An in-city TDR program
  • A Town Center D-Zone program

King County Interlocal TDR Program

This program authorizes the sale of 75 TDR credits. Credits come from unincorporated King County (the "emerald necklace"). They can be applied to the Sammamish Town Center subarea's A, B, and C zones.

In-City TDR Program

This program authorizes the sale of TDR credits from specific areas of the city to the Sammamish Town Center subarea's B and C zones. These areas include:

  • the Thompson or Inglewood subbasins,
  • erosion hazards special district overlay, or 
  • the wetland management areas special district overlay.

Town Center D-Zone Program

This program authorizes the City of Sammamish to sell 240 TDR credits from the Town Center D-zone. They can be sold to developments in the Town Center A-Zone. 

Use of Development Rights within the Town Center

The first 20 development rights used for additional development capacity in the Town Center must be purchased through the King County program. This is pursuant to Section D-II of the King County Interlocal agreement (available below).

As of July 2017, those 20 development rights have been purchased but not yet used. Until they are used, development rights from other programs may be purchased but not used for Town Center development projects. 

Background Information

Transfer of Development Rights Maps

King County/City of Sammamish TDR Interlocal Agreement - Sending Site Map
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In-City TDR Sending Sites
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Town Center D-Zone TDR Program Map
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