COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Amendment of Appendix A.1, Acquisition of Conservation Easements (ACE) Program, of the Albemarle County Code.

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing to consider adoption of an ordinance to amend County Code Appendix A.1, Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program by amending Section A.1-108, Ranking Criteria, and Section A.1-111, Purchase of Conservation Easement.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Cilimberg, Benish, Goodall

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 6, 2004

 

ACTION:     X                          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                               INFORMATION:   

 

ATTACHMENTS:     Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

At its September 1, 2004 meeting, the Board authorized this ordinance to be set for public hearing.  The September 1, 2004 executive summary explaining this proposed ordinance is attached as Attachment B.  A revised proposed ordinance addressing Board comments is attached as Attachment A.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

2.1        Protect and/or preserve the County’s rural character

2.2        Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The proposed ordinance is summarized in the September 1, 2004 executive summary.  One issue raised by the Board at the September 1 meeting concerned the treatment of C-corporations (another name for the for-profit entities commonly known as “corporations”).

 

The draft ordinance presented to the Board at its September 1, 2004 meeting provided that the rule for determining the income of C-corporations would be the average annual adjusted income of the corporation.  There was concern by some members of the Board that this rule could lend itself to potential abuse, since prospective ACE lands could be placed under C-corporation ownership generating little or no income as a mere landowner.  In the revised draft ordinance attached, staff proposes that the income of C-corporations having 10 or fewer shareholders be based on the average weighted income of the individual shareholders, and that the income of C-corporations having more than 10 shareholders be based on the income of the corporation itself.  Upon analysis, staff believes that the 10-shareholder threshold will discourage prospective higher income ACE applicants from owning land through a C-corporation in order to circumvent the ACE program’s income rules.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After the public hearing, if the Board desires to change the methodology for determining the purchase price for the ACE easements and the other changes set forth in the September 1, 2004 executive summary, it should adopt the attached ordinance amendment set forth in Attachment A. 

 

View Attachment A - Draft Ordinance
View Attachment B w/attachments

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