Albemarle County Land Preservation. Albemarle County in Central Virginia is known for its rolling hills, pastoral views, and scenic landscape. This rural countryside has become Virginia's brand. Albemarle County horse farms are some of the most beautiful in the United States.
At the same time the Charlottesville Virginia area has repeatedly gained national acclaim as one of the best places to live in the United States. As a result we have seen an influx of people eager to share the Virginia country lifestyle. The big problem is how to allow reasonable growth while keeping the rural character of the region that makes it so special.
As the population of rural landowners continues to age, we will see an increase in land transfer problems. There is a major difference in residential versus farm land values which can lead to increased development. After all the land is the farmer's "401K" and it is necessary for to be able to preserve these Albemarle County farms. Additionally many of these Albemarle horse farms have been in the same family for generations, and the landowners are concerned with stewardship of the land for generations to come.
Some of the solutions, either implemented or studied, include agricultural use tax breaks, mandatory clustering, down zoning to reduce density, tax driven conservation easements, and the purchase and transfer of development rights. As you can imagine, each of these approaches would have an ecconomic impact. In addition, they tend to pit farmers, environmentalists and real estate developers against each other.
One of the continuing challenges for the community over the next few years will be to come up with policies which will satisfy these disparate factions and safeguard the rural beauty of Albemarle County.
Albemarle County land preservation is an issue that impacts all of us. We need to be actively involved in order to keep the balance between necessary growth and keeping the vistas of Albemarle County farms that we enjoy so much.
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Copyright © 2008 by Pam Dent, all rights reserved, "Albemarle County Land Preservation".