Transfer Development Rights: A Case Study of Special West Chelsea District

September 4, 2017 | Autor: Meiqing Li | Categoria: Urban Studies, Urban Policy
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Transfer Development Rights: A Case Study of Special West Chelsea District

Meiqing Li

UEP 178 Professor Jon Witten December 8, 2014

Li 1 Introduction Transfer Development Right (TDR) in New York City has been evolving since the early 20th century. It serves as a typical example of the implementation of this innovative planning tool in urban context. Originated from lot mergers under the city’s 1916 zoning resolution, which has greatly influenced Manhattan’s cityscape by means of height limits and setback requirements, the latest notion of transfer development rights has been more relaxed as to achieve planning objectives (i.e. heritage preservation, ecological conservation) through market mechanism in a cost-effective redistribution of unused development capacity.1 The hope is to create a win-win situation since the marketable development rights (the “air rights” in most cases) on the prodevelopment side allow developers to fully achieve potential floor area ratio (FAR) while at the same time keep specific sites under control to fulfill municipality’s planning objectives. By employing market forces to pay for the cost of conservation, both government and developers expect more social and economic efficiency. In the 1978 Penn Central case, the court has decided City of New York’s use of TDRs as to “just compensation” to survive a regulatory taking challenge.2 Specifically under the Landmark Zoning Law enacted in 1968, “the property owner may theoretically ‘transfer’ his previous right to develop the landmark property to adjacent properties if they are under his control.”3 This early version of TDRs specially dealing with landmarks is subject to various restrictions and complex procedure: transfers are only allowed between adjacent lots or across street by certain approvals; both parties must submit an application including all kinds of


Michael Kruse, “Constructing the Special Theater Subdistrict: Culture, Politics, and Economics in the Creation of Transferable Development Rights,” The Urban Lawyers 40 (2008): 100. 2 Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978). 3 Id.  


Li 2 relevant documents to the City Planning Commission (CPC) for a permit, which should also undergo New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).4 A more recent version of TDR implemented in New York City is the Special Transfer Districts, which eliminates the contiguity restriction and allows transfers between granting districts and receiving districts within the same neighborhood with specifically tailored zoning goals.5 So far a few TDR programs have been implemented in New York City through special transfer districts, the most significant cases including the South Street Seaport Subdistrict, the Theater Subdistrict, the Special West Chelsea District, and the Hudson Yards District.6 This paper will focus on one of these latest special transfer districts, the Special West Chelsea District. By looking into the features of this sophisticated TDR program in particular context of West Chelsea District, it examines the social and economic impact of this policy and also discusses about the policy recommendation for this program as well as how TDR as an innovative planning tool can be applied to Hong Kong’s framework. In the first part, it will take an overview of this project along with the context that determines the planning objective in this development. Then it will look into the implementation of TDR policy in NYC’s Special West Chelsea District with reference to some specific cases in recent years. Following the factual observation, a discussion will focus on the success as well as problems associated with this policy, thus suggesting some possible improvements to it. In the last part of this paper, it will examine some comparable urban renewal projects in Hong Kong, briefly assessing the potential for this notion to fit into Hong Kong’s context.


City of New York, Department of City Planning, Zoning Resolution (2005), 74-791. Brandon Keith Boffard, “Transferable Development Rights in New York City,” Law School Student Scholarships Paper 142 (2014): 8. 6 Id.   5


Li 3 Project Overview The Special West Chelsea District, designated as a special transfer district by the 2005 rezoning, is bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from West 30th Street south to West 16th Street in Manhattan, New York City.7 Since the discontinuation of High Line rail train in the 1980s, West Chelsea has gone through decay with dilapidated buildings and overgrowing trees and flowers.8 This neighborhood was therefore strongly in need of renewal. Meanwhile the forthcoming High Line landscape park and Hudson Yards, nearby gallery district and Chelsea Historic District abut north provided great ingredients for revitalization in this area. On December 20, 2004, the City of New York Department of City Planning issued a certification to the Special District, followed by City Council’s adoption of the rezoning on June 23, 2005.9 As outlined in the Zoning Resolution, the general purpose of this rezoning is “…to encourage and guide the development of West Chelsea as a dynamic mixed use neighborhood…”, to encourage residential development, to support the growth of arts-related uses, to facilitate High Line open space, to create transitions to Chelsea Historic District and Hudson Yards, etc.10 Specific to the West Chelsea Zoning Proposal, the City Council’s approval includes modifications to affordable (inclusionary) housing, bulk and density.11 One special feature of this plan is its controlled area known as “High Line transfer Corridor”. FAR (floor area ratio) restrictions are imposed on the development west of High Line Park, the centerpiece of the Special West Chelsea District.12 However, under the notion of                                                                                                                 7

City of New York, Department of City Planning, Zoning Resolution (2005). Section 98-26. Vicki Been and John Infranca, “Transferable Development Rights Programs: ‘Post-Zoning’?” Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series Working Paper No. 12-50. Law & Economics Research Paper Series Working Paper No. 12-31, (New York University School of Law, 2012), 448. 9 City of New York, Department of City Planning, “West Chelsea Zoning Proposal.” 10  City of New York, Department of City Planning, supra note 7, at Section 98-00.   11 City of New York, Department of City Planning, supra note 9. 12 City of New York, Department of City Planning, supra note 7, at Section 98-11. 8


Li 4 “granting district”, property owners within this “corridor” are authorized to transfer their unused development rights to “receiving sites”. The “receiving sites” can in turn increase their FAR by between 1.0 and 2.65 FAR, depending on particular condition of each subarea.13 When developers opt into New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program (I.H.P.) or contribute to High Line Improvement Fund, they can obtain additional bonus FAR in some subareas, allowing even more development upwards.14 Another feature of this sophisticated plan is its narrowly-tailored conditions for particular sites rather than adopting a once-for-all general regulation. For example, access and easement volume to facilitate High Line pedestrian are required by some lots underneath High Line in order to transfer development rights.15 Special height and setback restrictions are also imposed on sites along the east side of High Line to preserve light and air access. 16 For owners with a vacant site within High Line Transfer Corridor whose development rights have all been transferred to an eligible receiving site, bonus FAR will be rewarded for their $50 per square feet contribution to the High Line Improvement Fund.17 This additional development however is only eligible for a maximum of 1.0 FAR and should be “permitted commercial use” to achieve the general purpose of creating a “dynamic mixed use” neighborhood.18 As figure 1 shows, within the special transfer district some parcels are designated as granting or receiving sites. The map depicts the transfers that have occurred by 2011 within the district. In this case, the adjacency restriction is relaxed to allow transfer of development rights


Been & Infranca, Post Zoning, supra note 8, at 450.  Id.   15 City of New York, Department of City Planning, supra note 7, at Section 98-61. 16 Id., at Section 98-51. 17 Id., at Section 98-35. 18 Id.   14


Li 5 across the neighborhood. The granting sites are almost all unused bulks under the elevated highway within High Line Transfer Corridor while receiving sites are widely spread. Implementation The unused air rights accumulated under the High Line Corridor are thus redistributed through transferring development rights to specific blocks that the city seeks to encourage development, especially a northern end block between West 28th and 29th Street.19 It is clearly shown in figure 2, a majority of land parcels in this district has little or no potential to further development, except those made possible overdevelopment through TDR program (the red areas indicating above 250,000 SF potential air rights). Seeing the potential urban amenity accompanied with High Line, developers were soon attracted to the neighborhood, gradually transforming the surroundings from warehouse and meat processing plants into high-end residential and commercial spaces.20 According to a study by New York University School of Law’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, between 2003 and 2011, there were seventeen transfers through the Special West Chelsea District TDR program, accounting for more than one third of the total approximately 765,999 square feet available from eligible granting lots.21 Despite the economic downturn, thirteen of the thirty-three eligible lots in High Line Transfer Corridor with unused development potential have transferred their development rights.22 The size of each transferring lot ranged from 643 square feet to 55,991 square feet. The largest transfer from the High Line Transfer Corridor was to the northern end of the district. Six transfers were conducted for a single real estate project, the Avalon West Chelsea,                                                                                                                 19

Been & Infranca, Post Zoning, supra note 8, at 451. Id.   21 Id.   22 Id.   20


Li 6 adding up to a 111,000 square feet of TDRs.23 With additional FAR purchased from granting lots, the developer was able to incorporate a high-rise tower upon the base, generating more marketable value from additional units. To offset the investment and maximize profit, it is always the developers’ incentive to seek additional development right subject to pro-development zoning regulations, especially in the booming real estate market in New York City. A study by Professor Levinson from Economics Department in University of Wisconsin in fact argued that the marketable permits under TDR programs instead of uniform height zoning rule could increase the overall development as there is no over-comply under TDR system.24 Some developers opt to combine different incentive zoning bonus in order to add additional permissible FAR thus market value to the development. A noticeable example is the 80/20 tax-exemption in conjunction with inclusionary housing program (I.H.P.). Two residential projects of Special West Chelsea commenced in recent years adopted such schemes. One is The Caledonia located at 450 W. 17th St. and the other is a rental property at 316 11th Ave. developed by Douglaston Realty Corp.25 The Caledonia is the first project in the district to use I.H.P. combined with the 80/20 program.26 It is also a special case because it abuts the High Line and is subject to height restrictions under special zoning sub-area regulation. The bonus development rights gained by

                                                                                                                23 Id.   24

Arik Levinson, Why oppose TDRs?: Transferable development rights can increase overall development. Regional Science and Urban Economics 27 (1997) 283-296. 25 Lawrence Lerner, “Inclusionary housing segregates, critics say”, The Villager Volume 76, Number 26 November 15 - 21, 2006.     26



Li 7 providing 59 affordable rental units cannot be directly used on site to build higher but can be transferred off site to another party within the district.27

Assessment The outcome of the West Chelsea Special Transfer District shows it is an overall successful one, which is evident by its positive impact on property price and resilient residential developments in the neighborhood despite the subsequent struggles of the economy.28 From the predevelopment perspective, the approximately 273,000 square feet reallocated developments rights offered financial incentive for landowners to utilize much more development capacity. Along with other incentive zoning schemes through market mechanism, it creates a win-win situation where planning objective could be achieved without diluting developer’s reasonable interest. Thanks to the prosperous real estate market in New York City, the burden imposed by zoning regulation for public interest no longer needs to be borne solely by the developer. With the precedent of this model, in 2003 the New York City Department of City Planning’s Manhattan Office came up with a study on the potential expansion of the Special West Chelsea District, which proposed to expand the northern end further west to the West Chelsea Historic District and Gansevoort Market Historic District to the south.29 However there are always problems associated with special transfer district as an innovative tool. One goal of coming up with such tool is to make it easier for transactions to take place in order to reduce transaction cost and achieve better efficiency. A most widely addressed issue that can get in the way of achieving this goal is bureaucracies. Though the special transfer                                                                                                                 27

Joey Arak, “Chelsea's Caledonia Now Accepting Poor, Huddled Masses”, Thursday, January 17, 2008, 28 Been & Infranca, Post Zoning, supra note 8, at 451. 29 City of New York, Department of City Planning Manhattan Office. “Study for the Potential Expansion of the Special West Chelsea District”, (2013).


Li 8 district has significantly improved from landmark transfer program in terms of implementation procedure, it still requires the approval of a transfer from a granting site to receiving site as a prerequisite to a final sale. In addition, these transactions are usually required to be recorded duly with the monitoring municipality.30 The transactions are still time consuming and costly, adding to the transaction cost. While narrowly tailored zoning takes into consideration each parcel’s specific condition, as argued by Vicki Been, the complexity of sub-districting threatens the flexibility intended by the program.31 Moreover as she essentially pointed out the stated purpose of the special transfer districts are more arbitrary than the previous programs.32 This increased uncertainty caused by lack of clarity leads to speculation and matching problem between TDR buyers and sellers. There is no way to predict the cash flow, making it hard to evaluate the economic burden of landmark ownership and therefore financial uncertainty. In fact it is no easy job to find buyers, negotiate over valuation and prepare for the compliance documents.33 In fact, in the Special West Chelsea case, prospective buyers complained about the too highly priced of TDRs and the program’s regulation did not allow easy transfers.34 On the government side, however, the “just compensation” value and “appropriate equivalent” FAR on a receiving site are difficult to define and distinguish from speculation. Never turning to the perfect market mechanism, the transaction cost of TDR under regulatory control is still considerable. Nevertheless, some of the efforts in                                                                                                                 30

Boffard, Brandon Keith. “Transferable Development Rights in New York City.” Law School Student Scholarships, Paper 413, (2014). 31 Been & Infranca, Post Zoning, supra note 8, at 436. 32 Id. 33 Sarah J. Stevenson, Banking on TDRs: The Government's Role as Banker of Transferable Development Rights, 73 N.Y.U. L. REV. 1329, 1331 (1998). 34 See Eliot Brown, Developers Want Easier Access to High Line Air Rights; But Should City Fix Something that Doesn’t Look Broken?, N.Y. OBSERVER (Feb. 13, 2008), should-city-fix-something-doesn-t-look-broke (“The Real Estate Board of New York, responding to the concerns of multiple developers who were unable to find air rights to buy, has asked the city to consider changes to zoning regulations in West Chelsea that would allow for an easier transfer of those rights.”)


Li 9 keeping the complex procedure of TDRs transactions are for the program to stay consistent with the existing system. Another issue related to the implementation of TDR program is fairness. Under the notion of bringing in market mechanism, the essential problem is how to ensure more fair and efficient allocation of airspace rights between government and private citizens.35 As argued by Levinson, the TDR program can actually increase the overall externality as compared with uniform height control.36 Specific to the High Line case, when the negative impact on the public views rom High Line Park is reduced through zoning controls within High Line Transfer Corridor, there is always some other place to accommodate the overdevelopment in addition to the regular height restrictions. The question is who should bear the negative externality? While landowners and developers enjoy more profits from the transfer, the issue is whether the impact is completely internalized. It is unfair for the recipient communities to bear the cost of overdevelopment in exchange for the profit of developer of single lot. There have been cases where the implementation of TDRs is challenged by the communities since the case of Fisher v. Giuliani.37 On the other hand, currently there is lack of legal procedure dedicated to protecting communities’ right to fend off unwanted development.38 Michael Kruse put in his article, with the absence of legal procedure, the current resistance from communities relies on the political and administrative process, which requires sophistication by the challengers.39


Rule Troy A., Airspace and the Takings Clause, 90 Wash. U. L. Rev. 421 (2012). 36 Arik Levinson, supra note 24. 37 Plaintiffs' Memorandum at 6-7, Fisher v. Giuliani (N.Y.S. Dec. 3, 1998) [here- inafter Plaintiffs' Memo], 38

Michael Kruse, “Constructing the Special Theater Subdistrict: Culture, Politics, and Economics in the Creation of Transferable Development Rights,” The Urban Lawyers 40 (2008): 100. 39 Id.


Li 10 When combined with other incentive zoning programs, doubts are also raised on whether bonus is granted to developers through equitable exchange with contribution to public interest. For example some inclusionary housing programs were criticized for creating segregation conditions for the affordable units.40 The $50 contribution to High Line Improvement Fund in exchange for 1 square feet condition also generates the doubts of whether it is reasonable contribution to public interest as to offset the externality from additional development.41

Policy Recommendation These challenges bring us to the possible improvement in future practice in the city. Triggered by the landmark preservation problems, the later versions of incentive zoning are to some extent influenced by Costonis’ proposal of Chicago Plan in the 1970s.42 The relaxed TDR program allows transfer of development right within an enlarged zoning unit, i.e. special transfer district. This notion is innovated by New York City CPC’s chief legal counsel Norman Marcus in the 1980s.43 He came up with changing zoning unit in order to contain TDR transfers that fall out of the adjacent restrictions stipulated by primitive TDR programs. Part of the success in West Chelsea’s case should attribute to the High Line project which as a supporting amenity triggers the flourish of real estate market in the surrounding area. The nearby historic district along Hudson River as well as the markets and art galleries also provide the condition to success. Such trigger is always essential in a development project and can


Joey Arak, supra note 27. Felix Salmon, “Why privately-financed public parks are a bad idea.” Reuters, November 22, 2013. 42 John Costonis, "The Chicago Plan: Incentive Zoning and the Preservation of Urban Landmarks" (1972). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 63.   43  Michael Kruse, supra note 38.   41


Li 11 largely determine the goal of overall project. It may take other forms such as infrastructure, cultural district, natural conservation or historic preservation project. To eliminate the intricacy caused by too many bureaucracies involved in the implementation process, voices from various parties have urged more transparency so as to increase the predictability.44 The transaction costs come with collecting information for both buyers and sellers can be significantly reduced if there exists a third-party agent (e.g. TDR bank) that helps match the two parties or stores and sells out TDRs as inventory whenever supply and demand coincide. This could ensure more efficient use of airspace as well as equitable treatment of landowners vis-à-vis government by market force. For the conflicts between communities wishing to avoid being designated as the receiving area for TDRs and developers wishing to maximize development potential, carrying out legal procedures might be a solution to fix the gap between protecting community interest and supporting development nowadays. By this means, legal doctrine can offer more protection to those on the receiving end of TDRs while facilitating the political and administrative process.

Discussion: TDRs in Hong Kong Since New York City enacted the first TDR program in 1968, this innovative planning tool has been used in cities of US and Canada for various objectives, such as landmark preservation, affordable housing and historic preservation.45 After nearly half a century, however, it is still a relative new concept on the other side of the world. To examine the viability of this program in a global scale, we can look at one specific foreign city, Hong Kong.                                                                                                                 44

Been & Infranca, Post Zoning, supra note 8, at 460. Jeff Aken, Jeremy Eckert, Nancy Fox, and Skip Swenson. “Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) in Washington State: Overview, Benefits, and Challenges.” (The Cascade Land Conservancy, 2008), 9. 45


Li 12 Considering the application of TDR in urban context, Hong Kong makes a great comparison with New York City for its scarce land resources, dense development, extremely high property prices, etc. Developers in Hong Kong are said to have monopolistic power in property market, maintaining the high property price level. It is common practice for developers to make use of every single loophole of regulations in order to maximize profit. Being a city with plenty of cultural and historic heritage in recent history, Hong Kong places historic preservation as one of its priorities. Since the establishment of Urban Renewal Authority in 2001, a number of preservation and revitalization projects have taken place. Meanwhile the success of Hong Kong has long been couched in market forces and the city is proud of its lassie-faire system. In this context, TDR should be able fit into the policy framework smoothly. Although Hong Kong has practiced some form of TDR in land redemption certificate (known as Letters A and B) during the 1960s and 1980s in rural area, the concept of TDR was first introduced in 2001 by architect John C Tsang, the Secretary for Planning and Lands at a Hong Kong Institute of Architects annual meeting.46 The stated purpose for adopting this new planning tool in Hong Kong focused on the preservation of historic buildings in Hong Kong. He suggested to assess both social and economic costs to society in preserving these buildings and employ market forces to pay for it.47 Specifically historic sites/monuments are designated as “sending sites” who can be granted/entitled unused development rights in exchange for the deed restriction or lease modification against further development.48 Relaxations are entitled to the Gross Floor Area (GFA) and Site Coverage restrictions on receiving site. Similar to the NYC practice, the plan contains a 20% cap on the increase of GFA on receiving site. It also suggests                                                                                                                 46

Tsang, John C, “Speech on transfer development rights”, annual general meeting of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, December 18, 2001. 47 Id.   48 Id.


Li 13 the notion of “heritage area” instead of individual historic building, which is under the same rationale with the special transfer district in New York City. As suggested by Roger Nissim, to ensure the TDR program is cost-neutral, the non-insite land exchange should be done between areas of same land use category within the same statutory town plan area, with exceptional case of contiguous OZP area.49 It provides an alternative to land acquisition/resumption commonly run under current ordinances, which can be costly in terms of compensation.50 So far a majority of TDR cases in Hong Kong falls to the category of historic preservation, which allows transfer between adjoining sites. Same with the problem of New York City’s landmark preservation program, the conditions of TDR for adjoining sites are restrictive thus difficult to comply with. Two well-known cases are Tai Fu Tai, heritage conservation in exchange for low-residential housing project in adjoining site, and Ohel Leah Synagogue in Robinson Road, Mid-levels, a successful transaction between conservation and commercial development.51 A more flexible practice proposed is TDR for non-contiguous sites, which is similar to the notion of New York City’s special transfer district where surplus development rights could go to other sites within the same Transfer District.52 It was later suggested by Terri Mottershead in his book there are several natural conservation cases under the notion of TDR to protect the ecological values of granting area: Nam Sang Wai Outline Zoning Plan (2002), and Mai Po Nature Reserve.53                                                                                                                 49

Roger Nissim. Land Administration and Practice in Hong Kong, (Hong Kong University Press, 2008), 151. Similar to eminent domain in US context. 51 P Li, “Transfer of Development Rights Approach: Striking the Balance between Economic Development and Historic Preservation in Hong Kong”, Surveying & Built Environment, (HKIS, 2006), 47. 52 Id. 53 Terri Mottershead, Sustainable Development in Hong Kong. (Hong Kong University Press, 2004), 417. 50


Li 14 With the reference of US precedents, TDR in Hong Kong to most extents is very much similar to its US counterpart in terms of both concept and problems associated with implementation despite distinctive wordings. Unlike the New York City’s sophisticated system that stipulates TDR regulations in zoning resolutions, TDR practice in Hong Kong yet in most cases is only subject to lease controls other than statutory plans.

Conclusion Striking a balance between preservation and development is never an easy job, especially in rapid-developing large cities like New York City and Hong Kong. Transfer Development Right (TDR) serves as an innovative tool in planning, which takes into consideration not only the cultural, historic, ecological or social values but also social and economic costs generated from such conservation programs. Employing market forces, it internalizes the social cost of taking negative airspace easements through regulation. Specifically looking into the case of West Chelsea Special Transfer District, we can have a sense of its successful implementation triggered by essential High Line revitalization program. We should also bear in mind that TDR is still an imperfect tool, for bureaucracy and fairness problems involve in this program that require remedies in future practice. To see TDR as a potential universal planning approach fitting into different urban context, we examined its viability to Hong Kong’s policy framework. The notion is plausible by concept though a lot of trials and errors in terms of policy adjustment as well as compromise of various stakeholders are foreseeable in the near future.


Li 15 Bibliography Aken, Jeff, Jeremy Eckert, Nancy Fox, and Skip Swenson. “Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) in Washington State: Overview, Benefits, and Challenges.” The Cascade Land Conservancy, 2008. Arak, Joey “Chelsea's Caledonia Now Accepting Poor, Huddled Masses.” Thursday, January 17, 2008. dled_masses.php Been, Vicki and John Infranca, “Transferable Development Rights Programs: ‘Post-Zoning’?” New York University School of Law, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series Working Paper No. 12-50. Law & Economics Research Paper Series Working Paper No. 12-31, 2012. Boffard, Brandon Keith. “Transferable Development Rights in New York City.” Law School Student Scholarships, Paper 413, 2014. City of New York, Department of City Planning, Zoning Resolution, Section 98, 2005. City of New York, Department of City Planning, “West Chelsea Zoning Proposal.” City of New York, Department of City Planning Manhattan Office, “Study for the Potential Expansion of the Special West Chelsea District,” 2013. Costonis, John, "The Chicago Plan: Incentive Zoning and the Preservation of Urban Landmarks" (1972). Journal Articles. Paper 63. Emmetsberger, Brock. “West Chelsea Rezoning: Five Years Later,” 2010. Kruse, Michael. “Constructing the Special Theater Subdistrict: Culture, Politics, and Economics in the Creation of Transferable Development Rights.” The Urban Lawyer, VOL. 40, No.1, 2008: 95-145. Lerner, Lawrence. “Inclusionary Housing Segregates, Critics Say.” The Villager, Volume 76., 2006. Levinson, Arik. “Why oppose TDRs?: Transferable development rights can increase overall development.” Regional Science and Urban Economics 27, 1997, 283-296.


Li 16 Li, P. “Transfer of Development Rights Approach: Striking the Balance between Economic Development and Historic Preservation in Hong Kong,” Surveying & Built Environment, 2006. Mottershead, Terri. Sustainable Development in Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press, 2004. Norman Marcus, “Air Rights in New York City: TDR, Zoning Lot Merger and the WellConsidered Plan.” 50 BROOK. L. REV. 867, 877 (1984). Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 1978. Nissim, Roger. Land Administration and Practice in Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2008. Rule, Troy A. “Airspace and the Takings Clause.” Washington University Law Review. Volume 90, Issue 421, 2012., Available Air Rights by Parcel in Special West Chelsea District. emap=farbyparcel&tab=themes Salmon, Felix. “Why privately-financed public parks are a bad idea.” Reuters, November 22, 2013. Tsang, John C, “Speech on transfer development rights”, annual general meeting of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, December 18, 2001.


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Figure 1: Development right transfers in the Special West Chelsea District54



Vicki Been and John Infranca, Transferable Development Rights Programs: “Post-Zoning”?

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Figure 2: Available Air Rights by Parcel in Special West Chelsea District.55

                                                                                                                55 Generated: Fri Dec 5.

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Figure 3: West Chelsea District Zoning Map56                                                                                                                 56


City of New York, Department of City Planning, Zoning Resolution, Section 98, 2005.

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