COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Acquisition of Conservation Easements (ACE) Ranking Order for FY 2008-09 Applicant Class
Authorize staff to appraise six properties from FY 2008-09 ACE applicant class
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Herrick, Cilimberg, Benish and Goodall
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
March 11, 2009
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
Pursuant to sections A.1-110(G) and A.1-110(H) of the ACE Ordinance, the Board of Supervisors reviews the list of ranked parcels submitted by the ACE Committee and identifies parcels on which it desires to acquire conservation easements. Each conservation easement identified by the Board for purchase is appraised by an independent appraiser chosen by the County.
Eleven (11) ACE applications were submitted for the Round 9 class (FY 2008-09) by the October 31, 200 deadline. Six of the applications (McDaniel, Mike Hudson, Thurman, Rives, Barksdale and Rushia) were re-enrolled from the previous year because the County was unable to acquire ACE easements on those properties due to funding limitations. Staff has evaluated the properties of each of the Round 9 applicants according to the ACE Ordinance ranking evaluation criteria. 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 the eligibility of the properties and has placed them in ranking order (see Attachment A). These results were presented to the ACE Committee at its February 9, 2009 meeting.
Goal 2.1 – “Protect and/or preserve the County’s rural character”
Goal 2.2 – “Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources”
The evaluation of the eleven applications from Round 9 has determined that nine (9) properties scored high enough to be eligible for ACE funding. With $1,640,000 of appropriated funding available for this class, the ACE Committee believes that the County can acquire ACE easements on the 5 or 6 highest ranked properties. Based on the final ranking order and eligibility status of the Round 9 properties, the ACE Committee recommends that the Board authorize staff to acquire appraisals for the six (6) highest ranked properties: McDaniel, Garnett (E.N.), Hudson (Michael), Magerfield, Hudson (Charles) and Thurman. Although the total ACE budget for FY 2008-09 may be insufficient for purchasing easements on all six properties, the ACE Committee believes it is prudent to obtain appraisals on more properties than funding will allow in the event that additional funding becomes available or some higher ranking applicants withdraw their application from the Program.
The acquisition of easements on the six highest ranked properties would eliminate 65 development rights and result in the protection of the following resources:
There is no additional request for funding related to this action. The funding for the appraisals and the purchase of these potential conservation easements would come from both 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.” Staff will continue to pursue outside funding sources to supplement the ACE Program funding. One such source is the Office of Farmland Preservation (administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), which recently awarded the County a grant of $49,900 to help preserve farmland. Additional sources of potential outside funding include the Preservation Trust Fund, the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program.
The ACE Committee and staff recommend that the Board:
1) Approve the final ranking order for Round 9 (FY 2008-09) as shown on Attachment A;
2) Identify the McDaniel, Garnett (E.N.), Hudson (Michael), Magerfield, Hudson (Charles) and Thurman properties as those on which it desires to purchase conservation easements; and
3) Authorize staff to acquire appraisals for the McDaniel, Garnett (E.N.), Hudson (Michael), Magerfield, Hudson (Charles) and Thurman properties.