County to reimburse owners of platted TDRs

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By Gail Binkly

Having nixed the decade-old system of transferable development rights in the Dolores River Valley, Montezuma County now will reimburse those landowners who had paid to have their TDRs platted.

On July 7, the commissioners voted 2-1 to do away with Chapter 8 of the land-use code, which provided for TDRs in the river valley. TDRs allowed landowners to sell their development rights without selling their land.

There was a base rate of 1 TDR per 10 acres outside the floodplain. One TDR was needed for each residence.

Under the system, someone with a 20-acre tract who had a single home and didn’t want to build another structure could sell his second TDR to someone who wanted to build more than one house per 10 acres.

However, the commissioners said they were concerned because, since the system was adopted in 2003, no TDRs had actually changed hands.

Although no development rights had been sold or swapped, some landowners had had their TDRs platted, a necessary step before selling them.

LeeAnn Milligan of the county planning department said there are 101 platted TDRs, as precisely as she has been able to determine, although most of those are owned by just a few people. The county is contacting the owners by phone or by mail to tell them they can be reimbursed for the cost of having their TDRs surveyed and recorded.

“They’re going to provide us with the information they have about the costs they paid,” Milligan said. “We will reimburse according to what they submit.” She said they will be repaid for any county fees they incurred as well.

The cost to plat a single TDR is from $500 to $700, she said.

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