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4,500 acres in Albemarle placed in conservation easement

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About seven square miles of Albemarle County land not far from Monticello have been protected from development by a conservation easement.

The property, 4,500 acres known as “Presidential Estates,” was donated by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. The easement. forfeits all development rights, ensuring that the land will remain in timber and farmland.

The property is visible from Monticello. In a June letter thanking the Justice family for the easement decision, Leslie Greene Bowman, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns Monticello, said that development of the property would have had “a devasting impact on the viewshed from Monticello and would negatively impact the historic setting experienced by our visitors.”

The Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority accepted the easement on April 11 and formalized its acceptance last week.

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