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Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program
TDR Program Overview
TDR Market Information
Sending Site Information
Receiving Site Information
Glossary of TDR Terms
The right to develop land for residential or commercial purposes is one of a
bundle of rights associated with land ownership. The County’s TDR program allows
landowners of designated sending sites to separate the right to develop land
from the bundle of other property rights. Sending sites are rural or resource
lands with agricultural, forest, or critical area amenities.
Through TDR, the separate right(s) are turned into a tradable commodity that can
be bought and sold – just as land can be bought and sold. When a landowner
chooses to separate some, or all, development rights, the property is preserved
through a conservation easement. Landowners can retain development rights on
their property for future use and the land remains in private ownership.
These transferable development rights or “TDRs” are typically bought by
developers of designated receiving sites. In general, receiving sites are in
areas eligible for increased density. The purchased TDRs give developers the
ability to create additional lots in more appropriate and higher density areas.
Check out the TDR brochure 256
KB for more information about how TDRs can benefit
If you are a landowner interested in enrolling your property in the TDR program
as a sending site, review sending site criteria
(KCC 17.13.020) to see if your property is eligible to enroll, and download a
The TDR program also has benefits for residents of Kittitas County. Land that is
important to the health of the local environment and the well-being of County
citizens is protected. The County, and its taxpayers, do not pay the high price
to buy land outright, nor do they incur long term management costs of the land
if it were put into public ownership. Land is permanently preserved and remains
in private ownership and is managed by private landowners.
Development growth is focused into urban areas and away from critical rural and
resource areas. This creates more efficient development patterns and makes use
of urban infrastructure to reduce the amount of development in the County’s
rural and resource lands. TDR acts to reduce and minimize the significant costs
to the County of providing services to rural development located far from urban
For more detailed information about the TDR program, visit the
TDR Code (KCC 17.13).
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.