Town of Cross Plains Moves to Encourage Farmland and Natural Resource Preservation: New Town Plan Would Allow Transfer of Development Rights

January 11, 2013
Supervisor John Hendrick, Chair Dane County Board of Supervisors 446-4842
County Board


Dane County Board Chairman John Hendrick today praised the Town of Cross Plains for moving to adopt the County’s Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, which leverages development pressures to pay for farmland preservation.

“TDR is really smart land use policy, and I’m thrilled that the Town of Cross Plains is going to give it a try,” said Hendrick. “One of the best things about Dane County is our mix of urban and rural spaces, and we should do everything we can to preserve that, while compensating rural landowners.”


The Town of Cross Plains proposal calls for development rights to be voluntarily transferred from farms to other nonfarm areas.  In return, farmers and other landowners promise to conserve their land. This allows farmers to profit from the value of their land without giving up their way of life and occupation.


Development rights may not be transferred to the Ice Age Trail Corridor or Black Earth Creek Water Quality Corridor, and must have minimal impact on agricultural soils. All transfers must be approved by the Town of Cross Plains and Dane County.


Supervisor Kurt Schlicht introduced the measure to adopt the plan at the County Board meeting Thursday evening.

 “This TDR program gives us an opportunity to protect areas of the Town that are very special to us.  We’ve been discussing this program for over a year and came up with a program that received unanimous support from both the Plan Commission and Town Board,” said Greg Hyer, Town of Cross Plains Chair.


The Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee will hold a public hearing on the program and other amendments to the Town of Cross Plains Comprehensive Plan on Tuesday, February 26th  at 7 p.m. in room 201 of the City-County Building. 

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