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VCPC Examines Transferable Development Rights

This fall, two VCPC students are working together to write a white paper examining what a successful and sustainable local transfer of development rights ordinance (TDR) should look like.

By Sydney MaHan, Student Correspondent

This fall, two VCPC students are working together to write a white paper examining what a successful and sustainable local transfer of development rights ordinance (TDR) should look like.

A TDR is a zoning technique that would protect farmland and natural resources by directing development away from resource lands to areas where development is encouraged.

The paper will clarify the characteristics an achievable TDR would need as well as what changes in Virginia law would be required to accomplish such changes.

Read on to learn more about the students working on the project.

Michael Killius

Michael Killius

Michael Killius

Michael Killius joined VCPC this fall after interning with the mission support division of the Coast Guard’s legal service command during the summer.

“I told my supervising attorneys about my interest in environmental law and that I was working with the VCPC this fall, and they very generously made sure to match me with some great, substantive assignments in this area,” said Killius.

Having worked on projects at the intersection of environmental stewardship and maritime law, Killius sees VCPC as a way to further his environmental law knowledge while gaining practical experience by creating real deliverables.

“I hope to have, at the end of the semester, a tangible way that I helped communities be responsible stewards of the bay and coastal area,” says Killius.

Killius hopes his experience working with the VCPC, and on TDR in particular, will enable him to experiment with environmental practice as a potential practice area after graduation.

Killius grew up in Norfolk, VA, and on the western shore of Maryland. He completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College as an english major. He is in his second year at William & Mary Law School, where he writes for the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, is a member of the American Constitution Society, and is a part of Student Legal Services.

Jessica Lung

Jessica Lung

Jessica Lung

Jessica Lung attributes her growing interest in environmental law to her love of the water and becoming more environmentally conscious.

“Being from Richmond, I grew up swimming, doing water sports, and fishing in Virginia’s rivers, lakes, and oceanfront,” says Lung. “I had a lot of friends who were in my undergraduate university’s earth sustainability program, and through them I learned about the impacts of recycling and climate change.”

“I’ve been trying to find a way to do something that involves both of those realms of my life, and VCPC seemed like a great opportunity to do that,” she says.

Having received her number one choice of project topics, Lung looks forward to working on the issues surrounding TDR due the project’s focus of alleviating the economic impacts of recurrent flooding.

“I am hoping to have a clearer understanding of how this complex and multi-faceted system works,” says Lung. “I also hope to learn more about how the individual Virginia localities have reacted to the proposition of a TDR program in the past, and how we can either convince them or further encourage them to participate.”

Lung completed her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, where she received her bachelor of science in business, specifically in accounting and information systems. This past summer, Lung interned with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She is currently in her second year at William & Mary Law School.

An extension partner of Virginia Sea Grant, VCPC at William & Mary Law School provides policy and legal analysis to its partners on coastal resource and community issues in its mission to educate and train the future lawyers and leaders of tomorrow.