COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Approval of Round 5 (FY 2004-05) ACE Appraisals

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Request approval of all appraisals from Round 5 ACE properties (FY 2004-05) and purchase of easements on the top six properties

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Kamptner, Cilimberg, Benish, McDowell, Goodall

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   YES

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

July 5, 2006

 

ACTION:                                  INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:      X                        INFORMATION:   

 

ATTACHMENTS:     Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 


 

BACKGROUND:

On May 4, 2005, the Board of Supervisors approved the ACE Committee’s request to have ten properties appraised from the Round 5 applicant pool (FY 2004-05).  At the time, staff and the ACE Committee believed funding was sufficient to purchase most, if not all, of these easements.  Furthermore, the Committee generally feels it is prudent to obtain appraisals on more properties than funding might allow in the event that a higher ranking applicant(s) withdraws during the process. 

 

On April 15, 2006, Pape and Company completed their appraisal work on nine properties from Round 5.  The tenth property (Ripper) was withdrawn prior to the appraisal because the landowner was unable to resolve a vehicular access issue along the Old Brown’s Gap Turnpike.  The Appraisal Review Committee reviewed the appraisals to confirm they were consistent with appropriate appraisal guidelines and practices before recommending that the Board of Supervisors accept them as presented.  The ACE Committee then reviewed the applications to make a recommendation to the Board as to which properties easements should be sought, based on scoring and class rank (according to the ranking evaluation criteria). (See Attachment B)

 

As provided under section A.1-111(A) of the ACE ordinance, the Board of Supervisors shall designate the initial pool of parcels identified for conservation easements to be purchased.  The size of the pool is to be based upon the funds available for easement purchases in the current fiscal year and the purchase price of each conservation easement in the pool established under section A.1-111(B). 

 

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:

Following much discussion and a thorough review of the appraisals, the ACE Appraisal Review Committee unanimously approved all nine Round 5 appraisals.  On June 7, the ACE Committee met to decide which properties to recommend for purchase.  Their recommendation was based on acquisition costs and the scoring and class rank of individual applicants. 

 

Only the top five properties (Davey, Vieille, Metcalf/South, Boyle and Rock Mills Farm) can be fully funded with the ACE fund balance that existed at the end of FY 2004-05. (See Attachment C) Additional funds budgeted in FY 2005-06 ($1,000,000) are intended to cover the FY 2005-06 applicant pool which has yet to be appraised.  The purchase of a sixth easement (Donnelly) would push the total purchase amount ($1,866,620) over the ACE fund balance at the end of FY 2004-05 by approximately $52,000.  The current ACE fund balance, which includes the FY 2005-06 funds, would allow for the purchase of all of the aforementioned easements.  However, this will require using funds intended for the FY 2005-06 applicant pool. 

 

On June 7, the ACE Committee approved a recommendation for the Board of Supervisors to authorize the purchase of the aforementioned easements.  Though purchasing all easements will require using some funds from the FY 2005-06 budget, the ACE Committee believes the Donnelly easement (the lowest ranked among the six FY 2004-05 properties) should be

among those purchased because the property contains over 161 acres, has 12 useable development sites, is within the Monticello viewshed, has 3,600 feet of road frontage, has 3,000 feet on woodland creeks, and was given 24.23 total points, less than one point from the next highest ranked property.  The acquisition of all easements would provide the following benefit:  
 

·         protection of 1,110 acres of farm and forestland

·         elimination of 67 development lots

·         protection of 24,000 feet of state road frontage (including 7,200 feet on a County Scenic Highway)

·         29,000 feet of protected stream and river frontage

·         4 of the 6 properties have significant tourism value (thru mountaintop protection or location on a major entrance corridor)

·         3 of the 6 properties are working farms

 

The Committee also expressed disappointment in being unable to fund the purchase of the remaining properties in the applicant pool (including Rives, Rushia and Jensen/Barnett), all of which offered significant conservation value to the County.  Since rising real estate values have greatly outpaced increases in the ACE budget, the program can no longer acquire as much as it could in prior years.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Since the total purchase price for all six easement acquisitions would exceed the fund balance at the end of FY 2004-05, approximately $52,000 must be used from FY 2005-06 funds to cover these purchases.  Funding for the purchase of these easements comes from the CIP-Planning-Conservation budget (line-item 9010-81010-580409) and the CIP-Tourism-Conservation budget (line-item #9010-72030-580416), a budget previously approved by the Board to fund ACE properties with “tourism value”. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board:

 

1)       Approve the nine appraisals by Pape and Company for properties in the year 2004-05 applicant pool. (See Attachment A)

2)       Authorize staff to send invitations to offer to sell to the applicants, beginning with Davey, Vieille, Metcalf/South, Boyle and Rock Mills Farm, and continuing through the applicant pool until available funding is exhausted.

3)       With the expectation that the acquisition of the five easements listed above plus the Donnelly easement will exceed the ACE fund balance at the end of FY 2004-05, authorize the use of FY 2005-06 funds to fully fund the purchase the Donnelly easement.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A - Easement Values and Acquisition Costs for Round 5 – FY 2004-05

B - ACE Applicants for Round 5 – FY 2004-05

C - ACE Budget for Round 5 – FY 2004-05
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