COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Historic Preservation Committee Update
Update on Historic Preservation Committee activities
Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Cilimberg, Maliszewski
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
August 3, 2005
ACTION: INFORMATION: X
The Historic Preservation Plan was adopted in the Fall of 2000. In April 2001 the Board of Supervisors adopted the Priority Recommendations for Historic Preservation in Albemarle County (the “Priority Recommendations”) (Attachment A) as the action agenda to be used for the implementation of the Plan. The original Priority Recommendations are taken directly from the adopted Historic Preservation Plan. The Board also approved recommendation #1 for implementation, thereby establishing a standing Historic Preservation Committee. Members were appointed and the new Historic Preservation Committee held its first meeting on January 8, 2002.
Strategic Direction 2: Protect the County’s natural, scenic and historic resources.
An overview of the Historic Preservation Committee’s accomplishments to date and ongoing work is included as Attachment B. The overview is organized around work being undertaken by subcommittees of the Historic Preservation Committee. It provides a status on the Priority Recommendations (Attachment A) and includes a discussion of recommended actions for the Board’s consideration. In summary, Priority Recommendations 1, 3 and 4 are complete. Work on Priority Recommendations 2 and 5 through 11 is ongoing. The Committee requests Board action on issues related to Priority Recommendations 2, 7 and 9, as summarized below and discussed in Attachment B.
1. Priority Recommendation #2.
Following a Committee discussion about the loss of an historic resource with potential local significance and the impact a comprehensive database could have had on that situation, in early 2004 the Historic Preservation Committee discussed its role in current development review and public inquiries, noting that the Committee includes members with experience and expertise that could assist staff in various work areas. Wanting to make use of the resources already assembled, and noting that clarification is needed regarding the specific role of Committee members, the Committee recommends that Priority Recommendation #2 be amended by adding the following text:
Historic Preservation Committee members should be available to staff for consultation, recommendations regarding significance of cultural resources, and for site inspections, as needed, in order to provide assistance in the development of the database and in staff’s review of development proposals.
2. Country Stores Recommendations/Priority Recommendation #7.
Following the Committee’s review of the “Rural Commercial” section of the Rural Areas chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, a subcommittee embarked on a project to identify the remaining country stores in Albemarle County. A presentation on the Committee’s research and recommendations on the treatment of country stores was made to the Board of Supervisors on May 7, 2003. The Committee subsequently asked that the country store recommendations be included in the Rural Areas plan, but it was suggested instead that the Historic Preservation Plan be amended to include the Committee recommendations. The Committee, wanting to formalize the country store recommendations,
recommends that the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Plan be amended by adding the “Position Statement on Albemarle County’s Historic Country Stores” as contained in Appendix H.
3. Multiple Property Nominations/Priority Recommendation #7.
The Committee’s work on the Country Stores project led to the conclusion that other significant building types exist throughout the County, and that the Historic Preservation Plan recommendation regarding nomination of particular County villages to the State and National Registers overlooks other significant County resources. Committee members agreed that these significant building types should be surveyed and that multiple property nominations should be completed for them. A multiple property nomination is a streamlined method for nominating groups of related significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places. It facilitates future evaluation and listing of individual resources, should individual property owners choose to pursue listing on the National Register. Consequently, the Committee recommends that, to the Historic Preservation Plan recommendation that currently reads, “The County should encourage or actively seek designation on the Virginia and National Registers of all potentially eligible villages (Advance Mills, Crozet, White Hall, and Yancey Mills) as identified in the Historic Architectural Survey of Albemarle County Villages,” the following text should be added:
The County should encourage or actively seek multiple property nominations for building types significant to the history of the County, such as country stores, schools, barns, churches, etc.
4. Priority Recommendation #9.
In the Spring of 2004 the Committee discussed viewsheds and questioned the equity of singling out one viewshed (Monticello) in the County. While Monticello is a unique resource, the Committee noted that its significance does not diminish the importance of other existing viewsheds. Such viewsheds contribute greatly to the character and quality of life in the County. Members discussed the possibility of expanding the priority work item to include consideration of additional significant historic viewsheds throughout the County. As a result, the Committee recommends that the wording of Priority Recommendation #9 be revised to add the following text:
Identify significant publicly accessible viewsheds in the County associated with a historic resource or a theme central to the history of the County. Develop recommendations on the treatment of those viewsheds.
Each of the Historic Preservation Committee’s recommendations requires an amendment to either the Historic Preservation Plan or the Priority Recommendations.
At this time the Historic Preservation Committee is not making a formal request for funding. Staff will include an analysis of fiscal impacts as part of a report to the Board.
This item was intended to provide an update to the Board on the work of the Committee and their recommendations. An analysis of the recommendations and their implications has not been considered by staff at this time. That analysis and additional information for the Board’s consideration will be provided at September’s day meeting. This information will include possible consideration of a resolution of intent to amend the Comprehensive Plan to address the recommendations of the committee.