Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning




Many cities and towns in the lntennountain West were founded on the ideals of clustered community development with surrounding greenbelts by Morn1on settlers in the mid nineteenth century. Since the twentieth-century development of the automobile, increased mobility has enabled residential and commercial development to disrupt surrounding rural lands with scattered growth. Correctly applied, TOR (Transfer of Development Right) strategies could reverse negative sprawling development trends by channeling growth towards existing communities to simulate the abandoned pioneer town and country model. A community development transfer strategy can respect private property rights, and allow fanners to keep their land in agriculture while earning development income. This report provides a description and methodology for understanding and applying TOR to current land development policies by focusing on Cache County, Utah, a chosen jurisdiction in the heart of the lntermountain West. A GIS case study further explores TOR community build-out potential by applying a greenbelt zoning model to Mendon, Utah, an 11,484-acre town and surrounding farn1-belt area. The findings of this study show how the Men Jon region (current population 1,436) could preserve over 9,000 acres of farmland and wildlife habitat surrounding the community while accommodating an additional 3,564 residents (a 46-year growth projection) on only 1,572 acres. Final recommendations include an inter-local governmental agreement between Cache County and local cities as a cooperative effort to direct development from county open spaces towards established community infrastructure. Given the absence of state TOR enabling legislation in Utah, inter-jurisdictional development right transfers (from county jurisdiction into city boundaries) are not permitted. An inter-local agreement, however, would enable a city to target unincorporated receiving zones (or development zones) adjacent to existing incorporated boundaries. As a condition for city water and sewer services, a city could require that county development rights be transferred into receiving zones and developed according to city design standards. After receiving zones fill with development, a city could annex after 12 months of providing services without petition or protest from receiving zone residents. Inter-local TOR agreements are recommended by the Cache County-wide Planning and Development (CCPD) director as a means of achieving the TOR greenbelt growth patterns recommended in this research.