Transfer of Development Rights or “TDR” ordinances are fast becoming the cutting edge in planning design utilized by Townships to control development. Most recently, Washington Township (Robbinsville), Mercer County, has adopted a new ordinance creating a TDR Program mirrored after the nationally recognized TDR program in Chesterfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.

The new Ordinance #2005-12 establishes the highly renown Washington Town Center as the receiving area for future development through a transfer of development rights from the sending area which is identified in the new ordinance as the property located in the Rural Agricultural District (formerly Rural Residential District). This extends the property rights of those individuals who hold title to property in the Rural Agricultural District, by granting those property owners the right to sell development credits for use in the receiving area, in exchange for preserving their land as open space, or restricting its use to agricultural or recreational.