Governor Tim Kaine formally accepted the Biscuit Run property into the state fold Friday.
The ceremony at Monticello capped off his pledge to preserve hundreds of thousands of acres of state land. It also brings to an end what was to have been Albemarle County's biggest ever subdivision.
Biscuit Run is one of 24 pieces of property the state acquired during Governor Kaine's four years in office. Kaine says open space like Biscuit Run is bound to disappear, and protecting it is a good thing.
The state bought Biscuit Run for $9.8 million. Kaine says the plan for the state park system has called for one near Charlottesville, but land costs have been too high until now. Governor Kaine says, "The ability to purchase a property that was just purchased in recent years for $44 million for less than $10 million is virtually unheard of."
This was part of Kaine's final push to preserve 400,000 acres of land. "This 400-thousand acre initiative was one of the real hearts of my time as governor. We knew it would be a real press to get there. When we announced it we weren't sure that we could, " said Kaine.
Boyd Tinsley was one of the investors in Biscuit Run, which was to have been Albemarle's largest residential development. Together they could lose millions.
Tinsley says, "The financial loss that we've taken pales in comparison to the contribution that we'll make to our community."
They are eligible for a 40 percent tax credit, however Kaine says, "They have the ability to apply for credits, but there is no guarantee and no deal about what those credits will be."
That tax credit, Kaine says, is recognition of the public benefit to permanently protecting open space. But losing the largest approved development will have a different impact on the county's tax base and growth area.
Albemarle supervisor Ken Boyd says, "What we'll have to do is look around to see if we want to expand the growth area in order to compensate for these 800 acres that's coming out of the growth area."
The lost tax revenue is not as bad as some thought it would be. Albemarle supervisor Ken Boyd says it's one-tenth of one percent, so he's confident the county will be able to make it up.