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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Fall 2004 Virginia: Development of the Grounds of Rippon Lodge, Prince William County
Virginia: Development of the Grounds of Rippon Lodge, Prince William County
Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
In August 2004, the ACHP informed the Secretary of the Army that the ACHP will participate in the Section 106 consultation process to address the effects of proposed development on a Revolutionary War-era house and surroundings in Prince William County, Virginia.
Rippon Lodge, Prince William County, Virginia (historic photo: Library of Congress)
Built in 1745, Rippon Lodge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and sits on 40 acres of what was once a 21,000-acre tobacco and cotton plantation.
Nearby is one of the last intact portions of the historic Kings Highway, the route on which Washington and Rochambeau marched their U.S. and French troops to victory at the 1781 Battle of Yorktown.
In 2000, the county purchased Rippon Lodge to convert the house and its remaining acres of grounds into a museum and a park. The Virginia SHPO holds a conservation easement on the land that borders the proposed development site, which lies within the boundaries of the Rippon Lodge historic property.
When the Army Corps of Engineers originally reviewed the permit application under its own Appendix C regulations, it did not view the entire housing site as within its purview. Thus, only very small areas were evaluated for visual effects to Rippon Lodge, and the Corps found the permitted areas to have no effect on historic properties.
The Virginia SHPO and the county argued that the Corps should use the ACHPs regulations, which would require the Corps to consider the effects of the entire proposed housing development on Rippon Lodge. In August 2004, the Corps convened an onsite inspection and meeting for the consulting parties to consider the full range of properties in the case.
Parties who are consulting on the project under the Section 106 review process are the ACHP, the Corps, representatives of the National Park Services American Battlefield Protection Program, the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and Prince William County.
The group is collaborating on a Memorandum of Agreement that addresses concerns about visual effects to Rippon Lodge. The developer has agreed to reorient townhouses that will be closest to Rippon Lodge to lessen their impact, and it will dedicate a 100-foot-wide conservation easement at the developments boundary with the lodge. It will also initiate data recovery on four known archeological sites on the property that will be adversely affected by the project.
Finally, portions of the adjacent Kings Highway will be saved from
alteration. The developer will convey portions of the historic thoroughfare
to the county, with the Virginia SHPO continuing to hold the historic
propertys conservation easement.
Staff contact: Tom McCulloch
Posted December 17, 2004
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