The Highlands Development Credit (HDC) Purchase Program is a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, through which eligible property owners may apply for and receive HDCs (reflective of lost development potential), which can then be sold to purchasers. At present, the HDC Bank is the sole eligible purchaser of HDCs. The program seeks to address preservation and landowner equity goals of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act and Highlands Regional Master Plan. Additional information is available by contacting Drew Siglin, Highlands Open Space Coordinator, at 908-879-6737 or drew.siglin@highlands.nj.gov. 

Please note that this program is administered under the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:70, Highlands Open Space Partnership Funding Program and Highlands Development Credit Purchase Program.

Eligibility
Review Process
Application Materials

Eligibility

  • Property must be located in the Preservation Area.
  • HDC Allocation.  An HDC Allocation provides the applicant with the number of credits the property is eligible for. See Application Materials below.
  • Once an HDC Allocation has been issued, applications will be ranked against other complete applications based on the following in no specific order:
    • Highlands Regional Master Plan (RMP) designation as special environmental zone.
    • Highlands RMP designation as high or moderate conservation and agricultural priority area.
    • Adjacency to existing opening space and/or recreational facilities.


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Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by Highlands Staff for completeness and property eligibility. The Highlands Council Executive Director will present the eligibility report to the Highlands Landowner Equity and Land Preservation (LELP) Committee for review. The Highlands LELP Committee then presents its findings to the HDC Bank Board for review and authorization of purchase.

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Application Materials

  • HDC Allocation Application (pdf) - Please download and complete offline. Form may be completed by hand or as fillable form using Adobe Reader or Acrobat software.
    An applicant may submit an application for an HDC Allocation at any time. An estimated HDC allocation range is available through the Highlands Council's HDC Estimator Tool. There is no cost to submit an application for an HDC Allocation, and there is no obligation to proceed with the purchase program once an Allocation is received.


  • HDC Purchase Program Details and Credit Purchase Application (pdf)
    *Please note: Applications for purchase of HDCs are not being accepted at this time. Property owners may submit an HDC Allocation Application (above) at any time. *** 
    Property owners interested in the HDC Purchase Program should complete and submit this application form.  There is no requirement to have a previous HDC Allocation. The application allows for the submittal of an application for an HDC Allocation and the application for purchase at the same time.  Where an applicant has already received an HDC Allocation, they may skip that portion of the application and should attach a copy of the HDC Allocation letter.

It is recommended that property owners contact Drew Siglin, Highlands Open Space Coordinator, at 908-879-6737 or drew.siglin@highlands.nj.gov prior to submission of any application.

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