Saving Goo Lagoon

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…Growing Downtown Bikini Bottom One Pineapple Home At A Time

For those not familiar with the widely popular animated comedy television series created in 1999, Patrick Star, pictured above is one of the ten main characters who lives underwater in the imaginary City of Bikini Bottom with lead character SpongeBob SquarePants.  Often known at times for his tantrum-like emotional outbursts, we found this gem of a meme to be quite fitting, both in subject matter and message delivery. 

Transferable Development Rights (known in Utah as TDRs) is an innovative, often underutilized, urban growth management technique.  It is most frequently implemented when local jurisdictions want a more holistic and mindful approach to growth and development.  By outlining both where development is specifically encouraged and also not desired – local jurisdictions can stop unnecessary urban sprawl and more clearly encourage the conservation of desired lands within designated areas.  

Why Would You Want To Encourage The Conservation Of Desired Lands?

In Utah, urban sprawl, or the rapid expansion of the geographic extent of cities and towns, is real.  A Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute briefing from December of 2022 reported that Utah continued to experience strong population growth, emphasizing the most residents since 2006 (a total of 61,242 new residents since July 1, 2021).

Simply put, all of those new people have to go somewhere.  The thing often attracts new residents to specific jurisdictions across various parts of the State are also the same attributes and characteristics (“community character”) that existing residents, appointed and elected officials debate and fight day in and day out to preserve.

Who Wins When It Comes To TDRs?

When done right, TDRs are a win-win-win for all involved.  By specifically outlining in finer detail both desired and undesired areas for future growth and development:

  • Owners of properties located in areas where development is not desired by the community are given an opportunity to obtain some sort of return on their investment by selling-off certain development rights tied to their property(ies).  
  • Developers get clearer directions to areas within the community where development is more suitable or desirable, or even encouraged at a denser level.  
  • The community as a whole wins because it is able to better define and preserve community character through the protection of valued open spaces, historically significant properties, buildings or sites.      

Don’t Be A Squidward Tentacles…

If your municipality or county hasn’t considered utilizing TDRs, maybe it’s time? 

Call Rural Community Consultants today to get expert planning, economic, and ordinance advice to make your community the best it can be.

Want To Learn More?

Check out our online training modules! Note: Rural Community Consultants is able to provide access to specific training modules free of charge, courtesy of the Utah Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman.

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