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Regulatory Tools and Incentives

Transfer of Development Rights

Transfer of Development Rights is an innovative tool for implementing growth and conservation goals at the city and regional scale.  Through voluntary, market-based transactions, rural landowners can sell the rights to build homes from their farms and forests.  In addition, owners of historically significant structures in Tacoma can sell the right to further development. These development rights can then be used to increase development potential where growth is desired.


Read more: Transfer of Development Rights 


Multi-family Tax Exemption

The Multi-Family Tax Exemption program provides an incentive for the development of new multifamily units in the City’s Mixed-Use Centers.  Available to eligible property owners, this incentive exempts property taxes for eight to 12 years on the assessed improvements that create four or more additional housing units. 


Read more: Multi-Family Property Tax Exemption Incentive 


Current Use Assessment

Through the Current Use Assessment process, land owners can apply to have their open space, farm/agricultural, and timber lands and historic properties valued, for tax purposes, at their current use value rather than at the highest and best use that would be permitted by zoning.  This provides property owners with an incentive to maintain their land as open space by lowering their taxes.


Read more: Current Use Assessment  


Development Regulation Agreement

Development Regulation Agreement is an optional application and review procedure intended to provide a new degree of flexibility in the application of the City’s development regulations so that conditions are tailored to the specifics of the proposed project and community vision in such a manner as to ensure that significant public benefits are secured. 


Read more: Development Regulation Agreements  


Interlocal Agreements 

To streamline permit review of projects, long-term agreements between the City and other agencies with jurisdiction may be reached that establish key objectives, avoid duplication of efforts, and specify how joint review will occur.  The City has entered into such interlocal agreements with Metro Parks Tacoma, the City of University Place, and the Port of Tacoma.


Read more: Interlocal Agreements 


Contact Us


Stephen Atkinson

(253) 905-4146