COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Acceptance of FY 2004-05 and FY 2005-06 Landowners’ Offers to Sell Conservation Easements

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Adopt Resolution Accepting FY 2004-05 and FY 2005-06 Landowners’ Offers to Sell Conservation Easements

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs.: Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Cilimberg, Benish, Goodall

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

February 14, 2007

 

ACTION:                INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:   X         INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 


 

BACKGROUND:

ACE regulations require each landowner who desires to sell a conservation easement to submit a written offer to the County to sell the easement for a fixed price, determined by an appraisal and subject to an adjustment based on adjusted gross income.  The easement is also subject to the terms and conditions contained in a proposed deed of easement negotiated by the parties.  The regulations also require that, if the Board accepts the offer, it must do so in writing and only after an action by the Board authorizing acceptance.  The Board is not required to accept an offer to sell a conservation easement.  Either the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority (PRFA) or the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) may be co-holders of the easements. 

 

Acceptance of FY 2004-05 landowners’ offers to sell a conservation easement – On July 5, 2006, the Board of Supervisors approved the appraisals of six FY 2004-05  applications and approved extending invitations to acquire easements on all of those properties. By January 2007, the Board of Supervisors had formally accepted offers from five of the six properties (Vieille, Boyle, Donnelly Metcalf/South and Davey).  Rock Mills Land Trust was the only applicant who had not submitted an offer to sell an easement to the County.  Since the January meeting the remaining applicant, Rock Mills Land Trust, has submitted an offer to the County. 

 

Acceptance of FY 2005-06 landowners’ offers to sell a conservation easement – On November 1, 2006, the Board of Supervisors approved the appraisals of five FY 2005-06 applications and approved extending invitations to acquire easements on those properties.  On January 10, 2007, the Board of Supervisors formally accepted offers submitted by three applicants from this five-applicant class (Motley, Fields and Huckleberry Hills Farm).  The remaining two applicants (Hook and Chester) had not yet submitted their offers to sell easements to the County.  Since the January meeting the remaining two applicants, Hook and Chester, have submitted offers to the County. 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 2. Protect the County’s Natural Resources.

Goal 4. Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development.

 

DISCUSSION:

Acceptance of FY 2004-05 landowners’ offers to sell a conservation easement - From the Round 5 (FY 2004-05) applicant pool, the County recently received an offer to sell a conservation easement from Rock Mills Land Trust.  This easement will be co-held by the County and the PRFA.

 

Owner                           Tax Map-Parcel Number                         Price                 Co-holder          DR’s Eliminated

Rock Mills Land Trust     TM 74, Parcel 19  (136.540 acres)                       $322,400           PRFA               14

                                    TM 74, Parcel 20 (    9.000 acres)

                                    Total                    (145.540 acres)

 

 

This easement will provide the following conservation values: 1) elimination of 14 development rights; 2) protection of a property in the watershed of the South Fork of the Rivanna River reservoir; 3) approximately 5,000 feet of stream frontage protected by riparian forest buffers; and 4) 145.540 acres of permanently protected land. 

 

Acceptance of FY 2005-06 landowners’ offers to sell a conservation easement - From the Round 6 (FY 2005-06) applicant pool, the County recently received offers to sell conservation easements from Hook and Chester. 


Owner                           Tax Map-Parcel Number                         Price                 Co-holder          DR’s Eliminated

Hook                             TM 84, Parcel 11B “A”    (114.000 acres)              $0 (donated)      PRFA               10

                                    TM 84, Parcel 11B “B”    (    7.000 acres)

                                    Total                             (121.000 acres)

 

Chester                         TM 65, Parcel 11           (22.011 acres)               $309,760           PRFA               11

                                    TM 65, Parcel 11B         (  2.450 acres)

                                    TM 84, Parcel 11C         (52.000 acres)

                                    Total                             (76.461 acres)

 

The Hook and Chester easements will provide the following conservation values: 1) elimination of 21 development rights; 2) protection of a property in the watershed of the South Fork of the Rivanna River reservoir; 3) approximately 5,000 feet of stream frontage protected by riparian forest buffers; 4) nearly 2,000 feet of common boundary with other properties currently protected by easement; and 5) 197.461 acres of permanently protected land.

 

A summary of all the conservation values protected by the ACE Program after six rounds of applications is found in Attachment “D”.  This attachment also shows the conservation values for each of the six classes. 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

For the first four years of the ACE program, in which the County acquired easements on sixteen properties and protected 3,759 acres, the County’s net cost was approximately $3,125,737 out of the County’s budgeted funds of $3,872,500.  Although a portion of unspent funds can be attributed to applicant attrition (approved applicants withdrawing or not making offers to sell), $357,933 was also leveraged from outside contributions and additional savings were realized from adjustments of easement value from the income grid (see Attachment “C”).  If the County acquires easements on all eleven applicants from FY 2004-05 and FY 2005-06 as currently valued, the County will have acquired easements on twenty-seven properties and protected 5,497 acres at a cost of up to $6,012,099.  The County’s budgeted funds of $5,872,500 for that period combined with additional funding from outside contributions ($489,433) will cover the cost.

 

For a cash flow analysis of the FY 2004-05 and FY 2005-06 applicant pools, see attachment “E”.  This analysis projects cash flows and net acquisition costs (after annual ACE appropriations and easement acquisition costs) for each applicant class.  Also provided is information on total available funds as of FY06-07, and the amount of those funds obligated for remaining easement purchases through to the current round of the program (Round 7, FY06-07).    

 

Funding for the purchase of conservation easements from both applicant classes 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:

The following recommendations are provided for action by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors:

 

1)       Adopt the attached Resolution (Attachment A) accepting FY 2004-05 applicant’s offer (from Rock Mills Land Trust) to sell a conservation easement to the County, for the price specified and subject to the terms and conditions contained in the proposed deed of easement, and authorize the County Executive to sign the final deed of easement for each property.

 

2)   Adopt the attached Resolution (Attachment B) accepting FY 2005-06 applicants’ offers (from Hook and Chester) to donate and sell a conservation easement to the County, respectively, for the price (Chester) specified and subject to the terms and conditions contained in the proposed deeds of easement, and authorize the County Executive to sign the final deed of easement for each property.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A – ACE Resolution Accepting Offers to Sell FY 2004-05 Easements to the County

B – ACE Resolution Accepting Offers to Sell FY 2005-06 Easements to the County

C – Net Acquisition Cost of ACE Easements

D – Conservation Values of ACE Easements from the First Six Rounds (FY 2000-2006)

E – Cash Flow Analysis for FY 2004-05 & FY 2005-06 ACE Applicant Pools

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