WV Governor's land in Albemarle set aside for conservation

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is setting aside thousands of acres of land he owns in Albemarle County to ensure it will never be developed.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice addresses at news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/John Raby)

Justice got approval to put the land under conservation easement. That means the 4,500 acres will be preserved in perpetuity as farmland and forestland.

The easement would allow farm uses of the land, such as raising livestock, and limited timber harvesting. It would also allow for the construction of several small structures, but it would prevent a large housing development or large-scale commercial development.

The application notes that much of the land is visible from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

In June, Justice paid off $404,654.48 in back property taxes that he owed to Albemarle County for multiple parcels.

The U.S. government is currently suing Justice, saying he owes millions of dollars in unpaid safety fines at his coal companies.

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