Washington Law Review


Seattle's transfer of development rights (TDR) system, an innovative land use device, has so far avoided many of the problems that have plagued other TDR systems. Although the system's voluntary participation avoids a takings challenge, it is still vulnerable to attack on due process grounds. In addition, two U.S. Supreme Court cases held that conditions in land use regulations must closely mirror the harms sought to be prevented, suggesting new constitutional problems for Seattle's TDR system. This Comment describes Seattle's current TDR system and examines its vulnerability to constitutional challenges. This paper concludes that while Seattle's TDR system will probably avoid the pitfalls of past TDR systems, proposed changes would increase its vulnerability to due process challenges.

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