Georgia Hill Country A Case Study For Stopping Sprawl

Planners and environmentalists are hopefully that the use of transfer development rights (TDR) in the Chattahoochee Hill Country south of Atlanta can serve as a model for land conservation efforts nationwide.

"Trella Dickerson, 70, is something of a celebrity here: She's the first person in Georgia to sell development rights to her property -- only to guarantee that it won't be developed.

Now she's trying to persuade others to make similar deals as part of a years-long effort to preserve the last major green space in sprawling metropolitan Atlanta.

Last September, Dickerson sold to a conservancy "land bank" the development rights to part of the 17 acres she and her ex-husband bought in 1988. Any developer that later buys Dickerson's development rights from the land bank actually will be pledging not to develop her property. In return, the developer would be permitted to construct houses elsewhere in the community.

She owns the property, lives there and gets the tax benefits, but she and subsequent owners cannot build on it."

"The concept is called transfer of development rights (TDR) and is a critical part of preserving 65,000 acres called the Chattahoochee Hill Country. Only 30 minutes south of Atlanta's airport, its forests and rolling hills are a world apart from the ever-expanding city.

The Chattahoochee Hill Country effort is being tracked by environmentalists nationally to see if the TDR concept, which had rarely been tried in the South and never in Georgia, can work here."

Full Story: Banking Against Urban Sprawl

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