36-66A-1.  Definitions

   As used in this chapter, the term:

   (1) "Development rights" means the development that would be allowed on the sending property under any comprehensive or specific plan or local zoning ordinance of a municipality or county in effect on the date the municipality or county adopts an ordinance pursuant to this chapter. Development rights may be calculated and allocated in accordance with factors including dwelling units, area, floor area, floor area ratio, height limitations, traffic generation, or any other criteria that will quantify a value for the development rights in a manner that will carry out the objectives of this Code section.

   (2) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, foundation, nonprofit agency, or other legal entity.

   (3) "Receiving area" means an area identified by an ordinance as an area authorized to receive development rights transferred from a sending area.

   (4) "Receiving property" means a lot or parcel within which development rights are increased pursuant to a transfer of development rights. Receiving property shall be appropriate and suitable for development and shall be sufficient to accommodate the transferable development rights of the sending property without substantial adverse environmental, economic, or social impact to the receiving property or to neighboring property.

   (5) "Sending area" means an area identified by an ordinance as an area from which development rights are authorized to be transferred to a receiving area.

   (6) "Sending property" means a lot or parcel with special characteristics, including farm land; woodland; desert land; mountain land; a flood plain; natural habitats; wetlands; groundwater recharge area; marsh hammocks; recreation areas or parkland, including golf course areas; or land that has unique aesthetic, architectural, or historic value that a municipality or county desires to protect from future development.

   (7) "Transfer of development rights" means the process by which development rights from a sending property are affixed to one or more receiving properties.

   (8) "Transfer ratio" means the ratio of the number of development rights that may be allocated to and transferred from a lot or parcel in a sending area to the number of development credits that may be allocated to and used upon a lot or parcel in a receiving area.

HISTORY: Code 1981, 36-66A-1, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1678, 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1219, 2; Ga. L. 2003, p. 859, 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 1029, 1/HB 1160.

 

36-66A-2.  Procedures, methods, and standards for transfer of development rights

   (a) Pursuant to the provisions of this Code section, the governing body of any municipality or county by ordinance may, in order to conserve and promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, establish procedures, methods, and standards for the transfer of development rights within its jurisdiction.

(b) Any proposed transfer of development rights shall be subject to the approval and consent of the property owners of both the sending and receiving property.

(c) Prior to any transfer of development rights, a municipality or county shall adopt an ordinance providing for:

   (1) The issuance and recordation of the instruments necessary to sever development rights from the sending property and to affix development rights to the receiving property. These instruments shall be executed by the affected property owners and lienholders and recorded in the county superior court clerk's office and in a separate registry maintained by the municipal or county governing authority;

   (2) The preservation of the character of the sending property and assurance that the prohibitions against the use and development of the sending property shall bind the landowner and every successor in interest to the landowner;

   (3) The severance of transferable development rights from the sending property and the delayed transfer of development rights to a receiving property, which may include the transfer of development rights in accordance with any transfer ratio established by the local government for sending areas, receiving areas, or both;

   (4) The purchase, sale, exchange, or other conveyance of transferable development rights prior to the rights being affixed to a receiving property;

   (5) A system for monitoring the severance, ownership, assignment, and transfer of transferable development rights;

   (6) The right of a municipality or county to purchase development rights and to hold them for conservation purposes or resale;

   (7) The right of a person to purchase development rights and to hold them for conservation purposes or resale;

   (8) Development rights made transferable pursuant to this Code section shall be interests in real property and shall be considered as such for purposes of conveyancing and taxation. Once a deed of transferable development rights created pursuant to this Code section has been sold, conveyed, or otherwise transferred by the owner of the parcel from which the development rights were derived, the transfer of development rights shall vest in the grantee and become freely alienable. For the purposes of ad valorem real property taxation, the value of a transferable development right shall be deemed appurtenant to the sending property until the transferable development right is registered as a distinct interest in real property with the appropriate tax assessor or the transferable development right is used at a receiving property and becomes appurtenant thereto;

   (9) A map or other description of areas designated as sending and receiving areas for the transfer of development rights between properties; and

   (10) Such other provisions as the municipality or county deems necessary to aid in the implementation of the provisions of this chapter.
   (d)(1) Prior to the enactment of an ordinance as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, the local governing authority shall provide for a hearing on the proposed ordinance. At least 15 but not more than 45 days prior to the date of the hearing, the local governing authority shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the territorial boundaries of the political subdivision a notice of the hearing. The notice shall state the time, place, and purpose of the hearing.

   (2) Prior to any changes in an area designated in an ordinance as a sending or receiving area, the local governing authority shall provide for notice and a hearing as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(e) Proposed transfers of development rights shall become effective upon the recording of the conveyance with the appropriate deed-recording authorities and the filing of a certified copy of such recording with the local governing authority of each political subdivision in which a sending or receiving area is located in whole or in part.

(f) Municipalities and counties which are jointly affected by development are authorized to enter in to intergovernmental agreements for the purpose of enacting interdependent ordinances providing for the transfer of development rights between or among such jurisdictions, provided that such agreements otherwise comply with applicable laws. Any ordinances enacted pursuant to this subsection may provide for additional notice and hearing and signage requirements applicable to properties within the sending and receiving areas in each participating political subdivision.

HISTORY: Code 1981, 36-66A-2, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1678, 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1219, 3; Ga. L. 2003, p. 859, 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 1029, 2/HB 1160.