Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)



​Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Programs Conserve Rural land

Kitsap County designed the TDR program to ease development pressure in rural areas. The program directly benefits the participants, those who buy and sell development rights.  The program also benefits the public by:   

  • conserving rural land that produces food, timber, or both.
  • conserving rural land that provides open space, outdoor recreation, or both.
  • reducing the number of small lots developed in rural areas.
  • allowing greater development intensity in urban areas.  This results in:
    • compact and walkable neighborhoods.
    • mixed-use development projects.
    • office and hotel buildings in urban centers.
    • a mix of house types and house affordability.
    • saving taxpayers money.  This development pattern reduces the cost to provide and maintain roads, water, sewer, schools, police coverage, and fire coverage.    


Direct benefits for rural land owners and urban land owners

Rural Land Owner.  Rural land owners volunteer to convert development rights into TDR certificates.  The land owner sells the certificates and retains ownership of the land.  Some uses are still allowed such as:

  • farming.
  • forest harvesting.
  • open space preservation.
  • recreation. 

Urban Land Owner.  Urban land owners buy TDR certificates to change the zone or land use designation of their land.  Zone changes can reduce setback requirements, increase allowed density, increased height allowance, and other design standards that are preferable to a developer.


Rural land owners apply for TDR certificates with the Kitsap County Department of Community Development.  The rural land owner applies through the Permit Application Portal.

Online permit form → Planning and Zoning → Transfer of Development Rights Certificate 

The Department confirms the estimated number of eligible TDR certificates available.  The rural land owner:

  • receives a letter of intent from the Department to issue an estimated number of TDR certificates. 
  • submits a conservation easement within five years of receiving the letter of intent.  The Department inspects the rural parcels to confirm the estimation in the letter of intent is correct.
  • finally receives serially number TDR certificates.


Supply and demand drive the Transfer of Developments Rights (TDR) market.  Visit the Kitsap County TDR exchange to view those who are interested in buying or selling TDR certificates. 

Many factors influence the market price of TDR certificates.  The negotiation between a buyer and seller ultimately determines the value of a TDR certificate.  The strength of the local and regional real estate markets rely on:

  • the availability of TDR certificates (supply).
  • the number of acres that developers request to rezone (demand).
  • the feasibility of a development project that requires TDR certificates.
  • conservation grants available to purchase TDR certificates (demand).

The certificates are bought and sold through private party transactions.

The TDR Exchange

The TDR Exchange serves to connect potential buyers and sellers of TDR certificates.  Anyone can visit the TDR Exchange and see lists of TDRs for sale, and TDR "want-ad" posts.


This download can take several minutes to begin.


This site intends to facilitate the purchase of Transfer of Development Rights certificates in Kitsap County.  Registered users can post listings and contact buyers or sellers directly regarding the purchase or sale of TDR certificates.

All activity on this site, including but not limited to registration information, for sale and wanted postings, and offers will be available for Kitsap County TDR program staff to review.  Your name and contact email will be viewable to the public.

Kitsap County TDR Program staff reserve the right to delete user accounts, individual postings, or any other inappropriate content.

The registry is under development.  If you are interested in becoming a registered users, please send us an email. Please include if you are interested in buying or selling a development right, your name and contact email address.

IMPORTANT: Information presented here is not legally binding, and Kitsap County does not confirm its accuracy or validity.


This download can take several minutes to begin.


Can TDR certificate be re-sold?

Yes. If you purchase development rights, you may use them for a receiving site or sell them to someone else.  Only the owner of a TDR certificate can use it to rezone or develop the receiving site.

Will a TDR certificate expire?

No.  Only the process of using a certificate to rezone or develop a receiving site will extinguish the serial number of that certificate.  Otherwise, a certificate will not expire. 

Can I use TDR certificates from any sending site?

Yes.  Receiving sites can accept TDR certificates from any sending site.  The TDR certificates applied to a receiving site can be acquired from multiple sending sites. 

Can TDRs from a single sending site go to more than one receiving site?

Yes. TDRs from a single sending site can be sold to multiple buyers using them at multiple receiving sites. It is not necessary to transfer all of the development rights from a particular sending site together.

Can TDRs be used for development in a city?

Kitsap County is working with the cities to establish interlocal agreements regarding the TDR program. These agreements may contain additional rules for the designation of receiving sites and how development rights may be applied to a parcel. For example, a city may require the TDR certificate sending site location to be in a specific watershed. The TDR program will track city requirements for TDRs on the website. 

How do I buy or sell a development right?

Buying and selling a TDR certificate is a real estate transaction.  The county recommends the use of a purchase and sale agreement to prove ownership.  The Kitsap County Department of Community Development requires a Deed of Transferrable Development Rights to apply TDR certificates to a receiving site.


Department of Community Development
Planning and Environmental Programs

(360) 337-5777 (Kitsap 1)


614 Division Street - MS36
Port Orchard, WA 98366


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Related Links:

Kitsap County TDR Code
(KCC 17.580)

Kitsap County TDR Resolution Establishing Exchange Rates

Puget Sound Regional Council

Washington State Growth Management Act

Land Capacity Analysis

Kitsap County Code Updates

Current Kitsap County Code

Community Maps and GIS Data