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TDC101 TDC Development Areas

Engagement of Developer Community

Structuring TDC Development Areas without input from the local developer community is a recipe for failure, as TDC programs are driven by the development activity in those areas. Local developers can provide vital perspectives on such fundamental information as housing/industrial/retail demand, market signals, existing development plans, etc. Involvement of these community members can also answer the lynchpin question of whether there is the demand for ‘bonus’ development, which is necessary to drive a TDC program.

Of course, the ‘development’ community is not one homogenous group, and engaging them needs to reflect this. Landowners, land developers and builders are most often three distinct entities, and each will have a slightly different view on the acceptability of TDC Development Areas. Many U.S. programs were actually initiated by visionary developers, who stepped forward as those critical ‘early adopters.’ Depending on the size of the TDC program, there may be one, several or many landowners in the TDC Development Area, and the engagement strategy will have to reflect this.

Be prepared that the myriad issues raised by less-visionary developers generally emanate from the same two concerns: 1) this is not what we have done before, and 2) changes in process and uncertainty lead to increased costs. Consideration of bonuses, siting and criteria for TDC Development Areas, and on-going discussions can ameliorate these concerns, but only if the program design is cognizant of them.

The key question for both the municipality and the developers is “What is the alternative?” If the conservation goals of the community are genuine, and are to be genuinely respected, then the most likely alternative is unbending restrictions on sub-division and re-zoning. For municipalities and developers, that is a lose-lose scenario.


Miistakis Reports

Government of Alberta


Web Resources

Support Organizations and Consultants

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Also, check out our full list of TDC Resources.