Farmland Preservation Passes

On Wednesday, Delegate Matt Lohr, R-Rockingham County, announced that HJ195 successfully passed both the House and the Senate.

“I am delighted with the passage of this valuable study. There are so many opportunities within the TDR program that will assist localities in their growth planning and farmland preservation.” says Lohr. “I am optimistic this will lead to localities, farmers, and developers participating in this beneficial program.”

HJ195 establishes a nine-member joint subcommittee to study the Transfer of Development Rights program and examine ways in which the existing TDR legislation may be modified to make it more appealing to localities.

Lohr states, “I proposed this study to examine the TDR program. I am looking forward to finding ways to modify the program so that localities can preserve open space, engage in smart growth and provide compensation to farmers not to develop their land.”

He adds, “This program is an asset to communities across the Commonwealth at no cost to the taxpayers of the locality, which is a benefit over the traditional PDR program.”

In 2006, the General Assembly enacted Virginia Code Section 15.2-2316.2, which states that localities may provide for Transfer of Development Rights. In the two years that have followed this legislation, no locality has taken advantage of the opportunity. This bill will examine the entire program and find ways to modify the concepts to make it more appealing to localities

It is the intent of this study to examine the following areas:

- Establishing a bank of credits that can be sold in advance of a developer needing to purchase them for a rezoning

- Looking at incentives for farmers to purchase additional farmland with the money they receive from selling development credits. Farms would be more efficient if they were expanded, rather than just having tracts of land that cannot be developed. This would keep farms viable, not just preserved

- Examine what specific benefits developers would gain by participating in the TDR program.

- Explore the idea of setting up a statewide system where the development credits would be placed in a state managed program. It would take the general assembly to make any changes or modifications to land that would want to come out of the program. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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