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Cemetery in Path of Route 29 Bypass Eligible as Historic Place - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cemetery in Path of Route 29 Bypass Eligible as Historic Place

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There is another bump in the road for Albemarle County's Route 29 Western Bypass. A home and cemetery that stand in its path can get a historic designation, which is a problem for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced the Sammons House and nearby cemetery are eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places. A report said the house and cemetery will be considered as one property, though the federal highway administration wanted the properties broken up.

The property met three pieces of criteria to make it eligible: its association with the lives of significant people in our past, the property's potential to yield information, and the significance from the people buried in the cemetery.

Late Tuesday afternoon, VDOT issued a statement saying, "VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration now will take into account what impact the project has on the Sammons property and incorporate that consideration into the Environmental Assessment."

That report is still being finalized by VDOT and the FHA, but we're told a federal process called Section 106 now kicks in, requiring federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. That means that even though the property is not on the National Register of Historic Places, the FHA must treat it as if it is since it's eligible. A formal nomination process is required to actually place the property on the register.

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