TRPA opens online market for development rights |

TRPA opens online market for development rights

Tom Lotshaw

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is launching what it hopes will become a thriving online marketplace for people to more easily advertise, buy and sell transferrable development rights in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Development rights including land coverage, residential units, tourist accommodation units and commercial floor area can be split from land in the basin and sold or transferred to other areas.

Launched this week, the Transfer of Development Rights Exchange aims to be a user-friendly clearinghouse for those rights.

The website also explains how development rights can be converted between residential, commercial and tourist uses or enhanced depending on where they are moved to or moved from.

Transfers that move development or development rights out of the most environmentally sensitive areas and into designated town centers are eligible for the largest incentives.

That includes transfer ratios up to 1-to-3, meaning one right can be leveraged into three.

Landowners, developers and the area’s two land banks, California Tahoe Conservancy and the Nevada Division of State Lands, have always been able to participate in the development rights marketplace. But connecting buyers and sellers with one point of entry and a public database is expected to increase participation in the marketplace, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency said in announcing the online exchange.

“If your parcel is eligible to receive a little extra coverage, or if you want to add some apartments above a retail center, there is now an open exchange where anyone can shop for those development rights,” TRPA spokesman Jeff Cowen said in a news release.

The exchange is part of TRPA’s Regional Plan Update and Sustainable Communities Program.

A key tenet of the Regional Plan Update is to encourage private restoration of sensitive lands and to transfer existing development and development rights out of sensitive and outlying areas and into town centers to support compact, mixed-use environmental redevelopment, Cowen said.

“A critical function of the exchange is to make it easier to connect buyers and sellers and increase the volume of transfers from sensitive and outlying areas,” Cowen said.

As the exchange is populated and used, a monitoring component also will track the movement of development rights throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin. As of Thursday, the exchange had 14 listings.

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