Water and mountain views abound at Wood Duck Pond, conveniently located to Gordonsville and Orange and less than 30 minutes from Charlottesville.
The c.1991 home has been well maintained and upgraded by the current owners and features a dramatic first floor master, two bedrooms up, a beautifully finished walk out basement and an attached two bedroom, 1.5 ba. guest cottage. Porches and decks wrapping the entire house, as well as picture windows in the dramatic vaulted ceiling family room, provide enchanting views of the three ponds and on to the Southwest mountains.
I’m standing with clients gazing out over a beautiful landscape, lush pastures dotted with angus, a trout stream rushing below and the Blue Ridge mountains rising above it all…perfect. But, what might happen at that farm straight ahead or what could happen to that farm just downstream? How many houses could they build? How many townhomes?
“Things have changed so much where we’re coming from. It used to be country and now there are stoplights, strip malls, fast food places and traffic. How can we be sure that won’t happen here?”
In most cases you can rely on local zoning ordinances that will describe exactly how property can be used and sub-divided in various zoning categories. In a growth area, dense residential development is encouraged while in agricultural zoning, it is typically more restrictive with allocated division rights and minimum acreage requirements. It’s important for buyers to take a look at zoning maps and regulations which are different in each county to see how the property they are interested in might be affected by it’s surroundings.
One way to be absolutely confident that your surroundings will not change is to find that rare property that is completely surrounded by properties under conservation easement. Fortunately for those of us who appreciate the unspoiled countryside, there are several pockets of farms and estates where land owners have dedicated easements to conservation groups like the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, Piedmont Environmental Council or the Sierra Club. These easements limit subdivision of properties and building rights in perpetuity in order to maintain the rural nature of the area.
High Fields is also part of this concerted neighborhood effort to protect this entire valley and has its own conservation easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The easement will allow the property to be sub-divided one time and a new residence can be built on the divided parcel if desired. The existing home which is perfectly suited to luxurious downsizing can also be modified as desired.