Posts tagged biscuit run

Biscuit Run – Now in Court

The Biscuit Run story, originally a large tract of land, then a planned huge development, now failed planned development and a planned State Park, gets another chapter.

This chapter begins … in court. Brendan Fitzgerald at C-Ville reports:

Forest Lodge LLC—a venture that includes developer and Virginia National Bank chairman Hunter Craig and Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw—have filed a civil case in Albemarle County Circuit Court to contest land preservation tax credits received after they sold Biscuit Run to the state.

This part is fascinating:

Forest Lodge’s Piedmont appraisal “estimated Biscuit Run to be sold out in 10 to 11 years…[at an annual rate of] approximately 300 units, 50 of which are affordable units.” The Salzman appraisal, in comparison, “estimated that it would take 16 years.”

I’m curious as to how they defined “units” – are they purely residential? Single family? Commercial? Apartments?

For some quick context during the apex and subsequent decline in Charlottesville and Albemarle:

From 1 January 2006 to 1 January 2008 there were 4528 transactions reported in the Charlottesville MLS. 791 were marked as being “new construction”*.

If they’re filing a civil case against the Commonwealth, hopefully all these secretive appraisals will be made public.

(I’ll take this opportunity to thank the C-Ville and The HooK for having the journalists who investigate these stories; without them, the public would likely know much, much less. (most) Bloggers can’t do what they do.)

Update 10 November 2011:

Hawes Spencer at the HooK continues his investigation into Biscuit Run – The flip that flopped: Biscuit Run men want $20 million more from taxpayers and Waldo at cvillenews notes succinctly states:

I’m something like $100k underwater on my mortgage. Here I was thinking that it was my duty to suck it up and live with, because it’s nobody’s fault but my own. Maybe that attitude is what’s keeping me from being a successful businessman.

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C-Ville and The HooK Investigate Biscuit Run

But the Biscuit Run acquisition process, from start to finish, was a hasty affair that involved no public input and a network of businessmen and politicians with close ties. No one who negotiated the deal could control how much taxpayers paid—the decision is left to a few unelected bureaucrats in the state tax department.

…It is about something far more prosaic, and possibly more disturbing—how influential people align their interests and justify their actions by saying they did it for you and me. For background on Biscuit Run, do as I do and turn to the archives and, better yet, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Biscuit Run archives .

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Questions Raised about Biscuit Run’s Purchase

The director of the area’s regional transportation planning body wants state officials to explain why nearly half of the $9.8 million used to purchase the Biscuit Run property for a new 1,200 acre state park came from federal transportation funds. Metropolitan Planning Organization , has sent a letter expressing his concerns to Pierce Homer, the Secretary of Transportation under former Governor Tim Kaine. While Williams stated he has no opinion on whether the state should have purchased the land, he points out two-thirds of the Biscuit Run property is within the boundaries of the MPO’s jurisdiction. … Is this sour grapes on behalf of the MPO or a reasonable request as to how and why the property was purchased?

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Biscuit Run is Sold to State to Become State Park

Kaine today announced the purchase of approximately 1,200 acres in Albemarle County known as “Biscuit Run” to be held by the state as a site for a future state park. “When developed as a state park, this extraordinary piece of land will benefit the citizens of Albemarle, Charlottesville and the Commonwealth for recreation, natural resource protection and the preservation of open space in a fast growing area,” Governor Kaine said. … “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the state to acquire such a valuable property which offers spectacular mountain views, abundant flora and fauna and is in the viewshed of Mr. … Funding for the purchase was provided by a combination of federal grants and existing state bond funds available through the Virginia Public Building Authority and the State Parks and Natural Areas bond, voted on by the public in 2002.

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