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TDC101 Credit Systems

Setting the Available Number of Credits

The number and nature of credits available in the TDC Conservation Area depend heavily on the goals of the program, the associated number of development opportunities in the TDC Development Area, and the determination of a viable “transfer ratio.”

The program goals dictate big picture guidelines. For example, if the program goal is to conserve a certain area, and every acre is deemed equal in value with respect to conservation, then the program may provide every landowner in the area with an equal number of credits / acre. That might see every landowner receive 4 credits per quarter section regardless of developability or landscape features. While in another program the goal may be to protect high quality agricultural soils, so perhaps every land owner receives one credit per quarter section, and then “bonus” credits based on the amount of Class One or Two soils they contain.

Once these types of decisions are made then the program designers can establish the total number of credits that could be available if all landowners participated.

Some programs have begun with an initial down-zoning whereby all parcels in the sending area are reduced to the same base development potential to maximize the ability to protect the valued landscape. For example, the base development potential may have been 1 unit per 40 acres, and that is changed to 1 unit per 160 acres. These programs often choose at that point to convert the ‘lost’ development potential to credits, and initiate the allocation of credits in that way.

The TDC Bylaw will need to indicate how many credits are available on each TDC Conservation Area site (or lay out the process to determine that).


Miistakis Reports


Web Resources



How the Value of TDC Credits is Determined


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Also, check out our full list of TDC Resources.