Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program


The Town of Ballston Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) and Green Energy Program is a voluntary incentive program established through the Town's zoning (Chapter 138-168). It allows for greater residential density or greater commercial square footage for new development or redevelopment projects when PDR credits are purchased by an applicant. The PDR program promotes the preservation and protection of important agricultural and open spaces in the Town of Ballston, and encourages green energy initiatives. 

View the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) and Green Energy Program informational brochure (PDF)

How PDR Works

PDR credits are purchased by applicants per the Purchase of Development Rights Fees (PDF) established by the Town Board. The fees that are collected allow the Town to purchase property or development rights from willing landowners who wish to protect their lands from future development. This program only applies to the following zoning districts: Mixed Use Route 50/67, Burnt Hills Commercial, Mixed Use Ballston Lake, Business, and Ballston Lake Residential. Potential applicants complete the Purchase of PDR Credits Application Form (PDF) to calculate PDR fees and density/square footage bonuses that may be considered for approval during the Planning Board review process. PDR fee reductions may be possible if Green Energy Initiatives are incorporated into a proposed project as outlined in Chapter 138-168 Table 2.

Benefits of the PDR Program

The PDR program benefits both developers and landowners while maintaining the community character Ballston is known for: 

  • Development and growth may continue in specific areas of the Town as identified by the Comprehensive Plan to receive additional growth. Visit the Comprehensive Plan & Zoning page for more information.
  • Farmland and open space areas of the Town can be conserved utilizing PDR fees; this will maintain community character even while growth is occurring elsewhere in the Town. 
  • Willing landowners receive compensation for selling their development rights and placing a conservation easement on the property. 
    • Landowners retain private ownership of the property
    • A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement that protects the natural resources of a parcel of land by restricting future land use and/or development on the property in perpetuity (permanently)
    • A conservation easement is recorded with the property's deed and transfers to all future landowners

Steps to Acquire PDR Credits

Please Note:

  • View Town Code chapters 138-165 through 138-168, which establishes the PDR Program, discusses applicability, procedures and fees, and lists the bonuses available; scroll to the bottom of the page for Tables 1 and 2
  • View the Planning Board page, which contains important submission and deadline information, as well as links to the fee schedule and all forms
  • The Purchase of PDR Credits Application Form (PDF) includes Chapter 138-168 Table 2, Tables A and B to assist with calculating bonuses, the Energy Efficiency Point Schedule, and the process steps that are listed below

1 - Submit PDR application, EAF Part 1 as required, and subdivision, site plan or special use permit applications to the Town of Ballston Building Department. 

2 - Building Department to review all application materials as required by Chapter 138. If any green energy initiatives are also proposed, the applicant shall detail the specific initiatives planned from the Energy Efficiency Point Schedule and, using Section 138-168 Table 2, calculate the number of points earned. The Building Department shall use the Energy Efficiency Point Schedule to confirm the points earned for use of those initiatives.

3 - Request scheduling of sketch phase meeting with Planning Board (pursuant to 138-167(C)) to discuss project and use of density bonuses.

4 - Choose the appropriate process below according to your project:

  • For Residential Uses (Density Bonus): Using Table A, determine the maximum amount of eligible PDR credits as of right and, if requested, additional bonus units requiring Planning Board approval. Review requirements and process of 138-168(A)(1)(d) if additional bonus units requiring Planning Board approval will be requested.
  • For Commercial Uses (Square Footage Bonus): Using Table B, determine the number of points earned for providing green energy initiatives and calculate the amount of square footage bonus the project is eligible for.

5 - Prepare subdivision plat and/or site plan for the project showing where density bonuses or square footage increases are proposed and all information as required (pursuant to 138-167(E).

6 - The Planning Board shall then review the proposal pursuant to 138-167(F) and (G). Escrow fees may be charged at this point to cover the Planning Board review. This shall include the SEQR process and comparison to the Ballston GEIS pursuant to 138-167(H).

7 - Pay required PDR fees as illustrated in the application. All fees shall be paid to the Town of Ballston prior to any preliminary subdivision, site plan or special use permit approval by the Planning Board.