The City Council recently adopted legislation, effective January 18, to establish a transfer of development potential (TDP) program for the Pike/Pine neighborhood. The TDP program provides an additional tool for maintaining existing, older buildings that contribute to the neighborhood’s special character and are considered key to the area’s success as a growing business, arts and residential community. The adoption of the TDP program is the final phase of a three phase strategy to help protect the neighborhood’s special character. Under the first phase, the original neighborhood overlay was retooled to serve as a conservation overlay district, with additional development standards adopted to promote development that is more compatible in scale with the area’s historic character, along with incentives to encourage developers to save existing “character structures” on their project sites. In Phase 2, the neighborhood design guidelines were updated and expanded to make them more relevant in guiding new development to achieve the neighborhood’s conservation objectives. Now, with adoption of the TDP program in Phase 3, the ability to sell unused development potential from lots with character structures to development sites elsewhere in Pike/Pine provides owners of character structures another incentive to maintain them.
The TDP program makes it possible for any owner of a character structure to sell development rights to eligible “receiving sites” in Pike/Pine, where a 10 foot height increase and additional FAR are allowed on the lot to accommodate the transferred floor area. To prevent the use of TDP from putting character structures at risk, any development that would result in the loss of a character structure would not be eligible as a receiving site. While the adopted program limits the use of Pike/Pine TDP to eligible sending and receiving sites within the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District, there is a provision to allow for the transfer of Pike/Pine TDP to receiving areas outside the neighborhood through future Council action.
The TDP legislation also resulted in the creation of a Conservation Core within the overlay district, an area roughly bounded by Broadway, Pine Street, 12th Avenue, and a southern boundary midway between Pike and Union Streets. This area, which has the greatest concentration of character structures listed as possible candidates for landmark designation on the DON Historic Resource Survey, is subject to tighter controls on bulk to promote development that will better maintain its existing character.