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Thomas Jefferson Foundation: Protect Monticello's Viewshed - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Thomas Jefferson Foundation: Protect Monticello's Viewshed

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The Thomas Jefferson Foundation wants to expand voluntary guidelines for building in its shadow. The group also wants to quadruple the size of that shadow on Albemarle County, but the Free Enterprise Forum is worried those voluntary property restrictions could become mandatory.

The views from the top of Monticello Mountain are breathtaking, and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation wants to keep it that way for future generations.

"We're really focused on being good stewards of what is really a shared asset that benefits the whole community," said Ann Taylor, executive vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

The foundation wants to expand the area it claims people can see from Thomas Jefferson's home.

The group has also proposed nine voluntary guidelines for those in the area. They include limiting bright pastels and whites on buildings, large windows facing the mountain and lighting.

The Free Enterprise Forum is fighting the idea.

"I look upon your property, I don't have the right to change your property because I happen to look at it," said Neil Williamson, president of Free Enterprise Forum.

Albemarle is currently updating its comprehensive plan - which includes the Monticello issue.

"If you want to control what happens on a parcel, buy it," said Williamson.

Monticello says it does not want to limit anyone's property rights, but does want people to be aware of what can be seen from the mountaintop.

"It's advisory.  Every bit of it is advisory and it's requests that are being made by Monticello not demands," said Elaine Echols, Albemarle County principal planner.

The Free Enterprise Forum just wants to take Albemarle's government out of the equation entirely. Williamson says it's perfectly okay for Monticello to contact property owners, share its concerns and settle any issues in a private setting.

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