Acquisition of Conservation Easements program

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The Acquisition of Conservation Easements program (ACE) is an Albemarle County program that seeks to match rural property owners with funds to buy out their property rights. The program has placed 8,508 acres under conservation easement and eliminated 484 development rights as of October 5, 2015. [1] [2] [3]

There is $500,000 in funding in FY2016.

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ACE was created in 2000 to provide a financially attractive way for lower income landowners to protect Albemarle County's family farms and their unique open-space resources[4].

Any landowner in Albemarle County whose land should remain in open-space according to the Comprehensive Plan is eligible to apply for the program, under which they voluntarily sell a conservation easement to a public agency to be held in trust in perpetuity.

The program is administered by the County's Department of Community Development.

Along with partners including The Nature Conservancy, Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, over 85,000 acres within the county have been protected over the past decade[5].

Since 2001, Albemarle had spent $11.5 million on the program. [2]

Funding cuts

In 2010, the program's continued funding is in jeopardy due to the County's fiscal crisis[6]. Still, the county was able to purchase 2 properties, placing 330 acres under easement[7]. In the years following the 2008 financial crisis, funding for ACE has remained low, but the program has continued to close on more easements each year.


Ches Goodall, ACE Coordinator [8]


  1. Web. Albemarle gets another 40.6-acre conservation easement, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 29, 2012, retrieved June 8, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Web. ACE Applications Accepted Now Through October 31, County of Albemarle, October 4, 2012, retrieved October 8, 2012.
  3. Web. Albemarle County Announces Application Deadline for ACE Program, Albemarle County, October 5, 2015, retrieved October 5, 2015.
  4. Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program, retrieved 18 Nov 2009
  5. Web. ACE Program Celebrates 10 Years of Success in Albemarle County, Albemarle County Community Relations Office, 17 Oct. 2011, retrieved 21 Oct. 2011.
  6. Tubbs, Sean. "Kaine Speaks at Monticello to Announce Success on Conservation Goal, Biscuit Run Acquisition." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 8 Jan. 2010. Web. <>
  7. Web. 2,253 acres protected in Albemarle in 2010, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 24, 2011, retrieved January 25, 2011.
  8. Web. Ches Goodall, Albemarle County, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 9, 2014, retrieved February 12, 2014.

External Links

Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program