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.
Cemetery in Path of Route 29 Bypass Eligible as Historic PlaceMore>>