Do you know of any cities that have used Transferable Development Rights or similar schemes to encourage the removal or renovation of "blighted" properties?
The southern half of our city is littered with apartments of widely varying quality. Many serve the lower income levels of the community and help us provide our "fair share" of affordable housing in the region.
Another part of our city is very "high end" and will soon be the site of a series of light rail stops. There is very little multifamily housing in the area, but there is plenty of vacant land, a strong market for housing, developer's clamoring to build it, and strict land use controls enforced by the private sector on all properties in the area.
Multifamily provides 60% of our housing stock, which makes many in the city very nervous. Additionally, the bulk of this stock is in the southern, lower income portion of the city and much of that stock has a "run down" appearance.
In 1997, we passed a comprehensive plan which capped multifamily for our city...there are not enough allowable units under the cap to support a series of transit oriented developments along the proposed rail stops, so we have been asked to find ways to justify allowing high end multifamily in the TOD areas.
One thought would be that we keep the caps in place, but after the cap is met, we could allow a private developer to build new multifamily in exchange for either removing or rehabilitating old multifamily in the southern portion of the city. Maybe allow five new units per one old unit retired.
Of course, this puts us over the cap, and potentially elminates affordable housing. If the old apartment is rehabed, it will rent for a higher rate, if it is elminated, we can't build enough single family homes on the abandoned lot to house the people displaced from the aparatments, even if they could afford a subsidized downpayment and mortgage payment.
This idea seems to resemble a TDR scheme, but there is no restriction on building something new in the "sending" zone (as long as it's not low end, thirty year old aparatments). Has anyone heard of such a scheme being used for redevelopment rather than open space preservation?