Albemarle County Media Release * October 5, 2006

ACE APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 31

Program Has Protected 3,776 Acres, Eliminated 258 Development Rights to Date

Albemarle County is accepting applications for the current round of the Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program (ACE) now through October 31, 2006.  Any landowner in Albemarle County whose land is worthy of protection according to the county’s Comprehensive Plan is eligible to participate in ACE.  An evaluation system has been established to help rank properties in order of their conservation value to the program, with the final determination to be made by the Board of Supervisors.

With the first four rounds of acquisitions completed to date, the county has protected 3,776 acres and eliminated 258 development rights.  The program has also leveraged close to $460,000 in donations and grants in addition to the funds allocated by the County. Easements provide a lasting benefit to the public through the protection of open space, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats, air and water quality, and resources of historical, cultural and ecological significance.

The ACE program, aimed at preserving open space, natural resources, and forestal and farmland in Albemarle through county purchase of development rights, was developed in response to accelerating development pressures created by the county’s continuing growth and urbanization. The County Board of Supervisors initiated the measure in 2000 in an effort to protect the county’s rural character and assets from encroaching sprawl. 

For more information interested citizens should visit the county website at www.albemarle.org or contact Ches Goodall, the ACE Program Administrator, at 434-296-5832 or cgoodall@albemarle.org.

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