COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Approval of 2007-08 ACE Applicant Appraisals and Acquisition of Anderson Easement

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Request approval of seven appraisals from Round 8 (FY 2007-08) and purchase of Anderson easement

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Herrick, Cilimberg, Benish, and Goodall

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 8,2008

 

ACTION:                INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:   X          INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

On May 7, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved the Acquisition of Conservation Easement (ACE) Committee’s request to have seven (7) properties appraised from the Round 8 (FY 2007-08) applicant pool. These included the Anderson, Garnett, Hudson (Michael), Dutnell, Riddervold, Hudson (Fred), and Thurman properties – the top seven ranked properties from this class (see Attachment “A”).  Based on estimated easement values for this class at the time, the ACE Committee believed funding was sufficient to purchase most of the easements.  The Committee recommends that, even if current funding were insufficient to purchase all of the easements, it was prudent to obtain appraisals on more properties than funding would allow in the likely event that one or more higher ranking applicants chose not to submit an offer after receiving their appraisals as part of the County’s invitation to offer to sell. 

 

The Board of Supervisors must designate the easements to be purchased, as provided under section A.1-111(A), which states in part: "From the list of applications received under section A.1-110(D), the board of supervisors shall designate the initial pool of parcels identified for conservation easements to be purchased. The size of the pool shall 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”

 

Objective 2.1: By June 30, 2010, increase the total combined acreage in permanent conservation easements and qualifying public parkland by 30,000 acres (50%) using public and private means. 

 

In order for the County to reach this objective, 7,500 acres per year would have to be placed into easements between 2006 and 2010.  In the first two years (2006 and 2007), 14,064 acres were protected, just short of the target for that period.  If funding were available for acquisition of all nine (9) eligible properties from the FY 2007-08 class (see Attachment “A”), 1,310 acres could be placed under easement.  The seven (7) appraised properties from the FY 2007-08 class total 1,151 acres.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

All seven (7) appraisals were completed in early September and submitted to the Appraisal Review Committee, which unanimously approved all appraisals (see Attachment “B”).  The ACE Committee then met on September 8 to determine which easements to recommend for purchase.  For FY 2007-08, funding of $1,627,000 was appropriated to the ACE program and there are no unencumbered funds carried over from the previous year.  Though some grant money may be awarded to supplement County funding, no grant funding has been secured at this point.  Thus, the total amount of funds available in FY 2007-08 for easement acquisitions is anticipated to be $1,627,000. 

 

The ACE Committee recommends the purchase of the Anderson easement, the top ranked applicant from the FY 2007-08 class.  Since the appraised value of this easement is $735,000, funds are more than adequate to cover its purchase.

 

In the meantime, the second highest ranked applicants (Garnett) are still assessing their situation and have not provided the necessary tax returns to determine adjustments to the purchase price based on the grantors’ income. Until this issue is resolved, the ACE Committee recommends delaying action on Garnett and other lower ranked properties for one month.  In the event that the Garnett family decides not to proceed, the current budget would allow the County to purchase most or all of the remaining properties in this class, including Hudson (Michael), Dutnell, Riddervold, Hudson (Fred) and Thurman.  The ACE Committee intends to provide the Board a subsequent recommendation on the additional properties for easement acquisitions in November.

 

Acquisition of the Anderson easement would provide the following resource protection: 

 

·         protection of 248 acres of farm and forestland

·         elimination of 11 development lots

·         5,973 feet of state road frontage (on SR 717 & SR 708)

·         2,462 feet of riparian buffer on the Hardware River and 5,824 feet on the South Fork of the Hardware River

·         the smooth sweet shrub, a natural heritage resource was found within ¼ mile of property  

·         lies in the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District

·         5,369 feet of common boundary with other protected lands (Davey easement)

·         179 acres of “prime” farm and forestland

·         property has significant tourism value

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Funding for the purchase of this conservation easement 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.”  The Anderson property qualifies for the use of tourism funds because it lies in the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District. 

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS: 

 

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

 

1)       Approve the seven (7) appraisals by Pape and Company for applications from the year FY 2007-08 applicant pool (see Attachment “B”).

 

2)       Approve the purchase of an ACE easement on the Anderson property (see Attachment “C”).

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A - Ranking Order of ACE Applicants for Round 8 – FY 2007-08

B - Easement Values and Acquisition Costs for Round 8 – FY 2007-08

C - ACE Resolution Accepting Offer to Sell Anderson Easement to County

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