COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Acquisition of Conservation Easements (ACE) Preliminary Ranking Order for FY 2004-05

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Request approval to appraise ten (10) properties from FY 2004-05 ACE applicant pool

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

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

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   YES

 

AGENDA DATE:

May 4, 2005

 

ACTION:                                INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:    X                       INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:      Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The Acquisition of Conservation Easements (ACE) Program received ten (10) applications for its October 31st, 2004 deadline.  Since then, staff has evaluated each of the properties according to the ranking evaluation criteria identified in the ACE ordinance.  These objective criteria include: open space resources; threat of conversion to developed use; natural, scenic and cultural resources; and County fund leveraging from outside sources.  Based on the results of the evaluation, staff has determined eligibility and a preliminary “final” ranking order for applicants from Round 5 of the ACE program.  These results were presented to the ACE Committee at the April 6th, 2005 meeting.  In general, this is the best class of applicants the ACE Program has ever received by almost any measure including diversity, quality and size. This is clearly reflected in the individual point totals, particularly among the highest ranked properties.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 2.1 – “Protect and/or preserve the County’s rural character”

Goal 2.2 – “Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources”

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The evaluation of ten (10) applications (see Attachment “A”) from Round 5 shows that all ten properties are currently eligible for ACE funding.  Though some minor adjustments of the points may be needed on a few of the properties, this will have a minimal impact on the ranking order and no impact on the eligibility status.  Most of the adjustments will affect ranking criterion C.9, whose primary purpose is to establish or maintain forest buffers along rivers and perennial streams.  The width of the buffer will affect the number of points awarded for this criterion.  In addition, points may be awarded for criterion D.1 (“County fund leveraging”) if the County receives leveraged funding from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund Grant Program.  In March, staff submitted an application for approximately $800,000 worth of grant funding.  The VLCF board will meet in early June to make the awards.

 

The ACE budget has sufficient funds to purchase easements on the entire Round 5 class due to carryovers from previous classes and the withdrawal of the Mehring Family application (ACE Class of 2003-04) at the Mehrings’ request.  As a result, the ACE Committee has recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve proceeding with appraisals for all ten (10) eligible properties (Ripper, Davey, Vieille, Metcalf-South, Rives, Boyle, Rushia, Donnelly, Rock Mills Farm and Jensen-Barnett).  With regards to the Ripper application, staff is currently evaluating the applicant’s request to restrict vehicular access (while maintaining pedestrian/recreational access) to an old public right of way (Brown’s Gap Turnpike) as part of that property’s participation in the ACE Program.  While this property scored the highest among all of the applicant pool, staff will not proceed with its appraisal until this matter has been resolved.

 

For a general description of the individual properties and a summary of the vital statistics for this class of applicants, please see Attachment “B”.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Approve the recommendation of staff and the ACE Committee to have the ten (10) properties from FY 2004-05 ACE applicant pool - Ripper, Davey, Metcalf-South, Vieille, Rives, Boyle, Rushia, Donnelly, Rock Mills Farm and Jensen-Barnett properties - appraised.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A - Applications for Year 2004-05

B - General Description of Round 5 (Year 2004-05) ACE Properties

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