The Conservation Trust bought 78 acres on a ridgeline adjacent to the parkway for $1.3 million. The property had been put up for sale last December, and if developed would have impacted Parkway views. The property will be transferred to the Parkway.
Waynesville Mayor Henry Foy praised the deal for its benefit to the Parkway’s appeal.
“With the pressures for development accelerating in Waynesville and Haywood County, we’ve always felt it’s critical that the views be protected from the Parkway,” Foy said.
The purchase was made possible by a private donation from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury and by a $25,000 grant from the Pigeon River Fund.
The property owners, Michael and Judy Ferguson, cut the Conservation Trust a deal on the property, selling below appraised valued, in support of maintaining the natural beauty of the landscape.
Michael Ferguson, a Waynesville native whose family was among the area’s settlers, said he hopes the sale will inspire other local property owners to conserve their undeveloped land.
“We’ve talked about this since we’ve owned the property,” Ferguson said. “I feel honored that I can do it. It’s a blessing that we’re in a position to do this.”