COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Transfer of Route 20 Visitors’ Center Property

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing to authorize the transfer of County interest in Route 20 Visitors’ Center property

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Elliott and Davis

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

January 7, 2009

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 ACTION:                INFORMATION: 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

BACKGROUND:

In 1984, the County and City acquired the Visitors’ Center property on Route 20 from the State Board for Community Colleges (SBCC) for $562,500.  To facilitate the original financing of this property in 1984, the City transferred its one-half ownership interest in the property to the County, and the County then leased the property to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) to be used as the Monticello Visitors’ Center and as an information center for the Charlotteville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors’ Bureau (CACVB).  The County and City agreed that upon the termination of the TJF Lease, the County would re-convey to the City an undivided one-half interest in the property. 

 

The purchase was paid for by borrowed funds pursuant to a twenty-year revenue note in the amount of $575,000 secured by a revenue stream based on the TJF Lease that paid the amount of the debt service.  Though the original term of the TJF Lease expired on August 31, 2004, TJF exercised an option to extend the Lease for an additional five year term.  The County paid off the revenue note in 2004, and recently agreed to TJF’s request to terminate the Lease as of January 31, 2009.

 

The property was transferred to the County and City under legislation and deed restrictions that specifically limited the use of the property, as follows:

 

“Unless and until otherwise provided by the General Assembly of Virginia, the use of the property shall be limited to the promotion of education, historic preservation, conservation, and display of historically significant artifacts associated with Monticello and for the operation of an information center and gift shop for visitors in the area.

 

In the event of a breach of any of the foregoing conditions, the property herein conveyed shall, at the option of Grantor, revert to Grantor and, upon demand, Grantees shall quitclaim same to Grantor.”  (The Grantor was the State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC) and the Grantees are the City and County.)  

 

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) has requested that the property be returned to the SBCC so that PVCC can use the property as a Workforce Development Center.  The Center would offer open enrollment non-credit courses and contract training for the region’s employers and employees (See Attachment D).

 

Virginia Code § 15.2-1800 requires the County to hold a public hearing prior to disposing of any property.  This public hearing addresses both the transfer of a one-half interest to the City and the remaining interest to the SBCC.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal #1: To enhance the quality of life in Albemarle County

 

DISCUSSION:

Following the expiration of the TJF Lease, the County and City have identified no need to continue to use the property “for the promotion of education, historic preservation, conservation, and display of historically significant artifacts associated with Monticello and for the operation of an information center and gift shop for visitors in the area,” as the 1984 Deed requires.  The TJF has relocated its Visitors’ Center and the CACVB has determined the property is not needed as an information center.  PVCC’s intended re-use of the property as a Workforce Development Center would provide beneficial services to the County and the region.  Given the use restrictions imposed by the Deed and the proposed use of the property by PVCC, the return of the property to the SBCC as requested by PVCC is a reasonable request. 

 

The purpose of the public hearing is to consider a resolution authorizing the return of the City’s one-half interest in the property and the conveyance of the remainder of the County’s interest in this property to the SBCC.  Prior to the re-conveyance of the property to the SBCC, the County must return the City’s one-half interest to the City pursuant to the 1984 Agreement between the County and the City.  Charlottesville City Council will also be considering PVCC’s request this month.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

This action should not result in a negative impact on the current budget.  General maintenance and repairs to the building and grounds are currently paid through an account funded by the rental money and not from an existing operating budget.  The current balance in that account is approximately $196,000.  It is anticipated that any balance of this account would be shared with the City.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that following the public hearing, the Board adopt the attached resolution, authorizing (1) the return of a one-half interest in the Route 20 Visitors’ Center property to the City of Charlottesville and (2) the joint re-conveyance by the City and County of the entire interest in that property to the State Board for Community Colleges.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A – Proposed Resolution

B – Proposed Deed from County to City

C – Proposed Deed from City and County to State Board for Community Colleges

D – Piedmont Virginia Community College proposal

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