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Albemarle County Newsroom

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ACE Applications Accepted Now Through October 31
10/4/2012

Program Has Eliminated 459 Development Rights to Date

Albemarle County is accepting applications for the current round of the Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program (ACE) now through October 31, 2012.  Any landowner in Albemarle County whose land is worthy of protection according to the County’s Comprehensive Plan is eligible to participate in ACE.  An evaluation system has been established to help rank properties in order of their conservation value to the program, with the final determination to be made by the Board of Supervisors.

With the first ten years of acquisitions completed to date, the county has eliminated 459 development rights and placed 7,555 acres under easement.  The latest ACE acquisition was the Ed Rushia and Christine Fleckles farm on top of Beaver Creek Mountain.  The acquisition of this 87 acre easement eliminated 7 development rights and protected a highly visible mountaintop from future development.  This property is surrounded on three sides by other protected lands.  Easements provide a lasting benefit to the public through the protection of open space, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats, air and water quality, and resources of historical, cultural and ecological significance.

The ACE program, aimed at preserving open space, natural resources, and forestal and farmland in Albemarle through county purchase of development rights, was developed in response to accelerating development pressures created by the county’s continuing growth and urbanization. The County Board of Supervisors initiated the measure in 2000 in an effort to protect the county’s rural character and assets from encroaching sprawl. 

Since ACE was initiated by Albemarle County in 2001 as a powerful tool for rural land protection, the County has dedicated $11,547,243.00 in funding in support of the program.  Additionally, $1,636,343 has been brought into the program in contributions and grants. For more information interested citizens should visit the county website at www.albemarle.org or contact Ches Goodall, the ACE Program Administrator, at 434-296-5832 or cgoodall@albemarle.org.

The summary of total statistics for the ACE program to date is as follows:

  • 94 Applicants
  • Acquired easements on 41 properties  
  • Protected 7,555 acres
  • Eliminated 459 development lots
  • Protected over 3,683 acres of “prime” farm and forestland
  • Protected lands with over 35,000 feet along state roads
  • Protected lands with over 21,000 feet along a scenic highway or entrance corridor
  • Protected 523 acres of mountaintop
  • Protected over 85,000 linear feet of streamside with buffers
  • 28/41 properties have “tourism” value
  • 11/41 properties in a Rural Historic Districts

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