It’s official: Biscuit Run is now a state park. That’s 1,200 acres, just south of Charlottesville, to be preserved as a state park indefinitely. If I had a bottle of champagne, I’d pop the cork right now. The paperwork has been filed, the deed has been filed at the courthouse, and Governor Tim Kaine will be here to make the official announcement in a couple of weeks, during the last days of his administration. The conversion to parkland will save county and state government $222M, making this a sort of a financial windfall, insofar as it prevents us from spending a whole lot of money that we would have needed to spend had the planned housing development gone in.
But don’t start tramping around in the woods just yet. The state still needs to figure out what to do with it, build out whatever facilities need to be created, get it staffed, etc. There’s no word on how long that will take, but presumably Governor Kaine will address that in his remarks here on January 8.
12:50 AM Update: Brian Wheeler provides lots of great details over at Charlottesville Tomorrow. The important bit is that the state is paying $9.8M for this land, using money from a 2002 voter-approved bond to buy more park land and from federal funding for land acquisition, and (former) owner Hunter Craig will work out tax credits with the Virginia Department of Taxation.