DPD staff is assisting Councilmember Tom Rasmussen with legislation that would establish a Transfer of Development Potential (TDP) program for the Pike/Pine neighborhood. The goal is to provide additional incentives for new development to maintain the neighborhood’s existing “character structures” (buildings that are at least 75 years old) while continuing to protect the area’s special character.
The proposal is the last part of a three-part project. Phase I (completed in June 2009) expanded the Pike/Pine Overlay District, renamed it to add “Conservation” to its title, and added provisions to encourage new projects to retain existing character structures on-site and to provide spaces for small businesses and arts facilities. Phase I legislation was adopted by Ordinance 123020 on June 29, 2009, and became effective on August 7, 2009. Phase II (completed in September 2010) adopted revised Pike/Pine Neighborhood Design Guidelines (Pike/Pine Design Guidelines Ordinance 123392) to support conservation goals and update the text and illustrations to clarify community priorities (Pike/Pine Design Guidelines).
When an existing building is retained on a site, but is not as large or dense as a building that would otherwise be permitted on the site, it is considered to have unused development potential. In order to encourage the retention of buildings that lend character to the community, allowing the unused development potential to be sold to be used on another development site would provide the economic incentive to retain the character building. Under the proposal, the TDP program would operate within the boundaries of the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District. Criteria defining eligible “sending” and “receiving” sites within the district would be established. To minimize development pressure on lots currently occupied by character structures, these lots would be ineligible as receiving sites. Lots with character structures that are designated as a landmark structure or that have potential for a landmark designation would be favored as sending sites that could sell unused development potential to the developer of a receiving site. Projects on receiving sites could gain floor area and up to 20 feet of additional height above the current 65-foot height limit by purchasing unused development potential from sending sites. Within the existing Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District, a smaller Conservation Core would be created along Pike and Pine streets between Harvard and 13th Avenue. In this area, all character structures would be eligible sending sites, but added height through TDP would not be allowed, and additional bulk controls would apply to better maintain the existing character of the area.
The draft proposal was presented to the community at a public meeting on May 23, 2011. While the community expressed support for the use of TDP as an incentive for protecting character structures, there is concern about limiting receiving sites to within the district. While the ability to transfer to other areas could make the program more marketable, it may be challenging to find other neighborhoods willing to maintain buildings in the Pike/Pine neighborhood as opposed to in their own neighborhood.
DPD anticipates making a recommendation to the City Council in July 2011.
For more information about this project, contact: