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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Spring 2003 North Carolina: Transfer of Military Housing Out of Federal Management, Fort Bragg
North Carolina: Transfer of Military Housing Out of Federal Management,
Agency: U.S. Army
As part of a program to privatize housing on defense installations, the management of housing at the Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina will be turned over to a private developer. Fort Bragg’s housing includes a National Register-eligible district known as the Old Post, which features an early 20th-century Beaux Arts landscape plan.
An agreement was recently executed to ensure that the Army continues to meet its responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to consider the effects of actions on its historic properties. The Army has agreed that, while management of housing is not within its mission, stewardship of its historic housing does remain within its mission.
In response to a 1996 bill that provides the military with alternative authorities for construction and improvement of its housing, the U.S. Department of Defense introduced a program to privatize housing on defense installations. Under the program, the U.S. Army has called for the construction of approximately 3,050 new or replacement housing units and the renovation of 1,815 housing units at the Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina.
A Spanish Eclectic-style house in the Bastogne Gables Housing Area, Old Post, Fort Bragg, NC (photo courtesy of U.S. Army)
Fort Bragg features an area known as the Old Post District, which contains more than 300 historic resources eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, including family housing on a Beaux Arts landscape plan with Spanish Eclectic and Georgian Revival-style buildings.
The historic housing required safeguards to ensure that, in turning over management of its housing to a private developer, who may demolish, rehabilitate, or construct new housing, the Army nonetheless would continue to meet its responsibilities to consider effects of these actions to historic properties.
In February 2003, following initial consultation with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the ACHP, the Army recognized the need for ongoing tribal consultation as the privatization programknown as the Residential Communities Initiative (RCI)is implemented over the next 50 to 75 years.
The Army began a dialogue with federally recognized tribes with potential concerns for properties of religious and cultural significance in the Fort Bragg area, including the Catawba, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and United Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
In March 2003, the Army, the North Carolina SHPO, and the ACHP executed an agreement that ensures that historic properties will be considered throughout the RCIs implementation. The agreement also offers opportunities for continuing public involvement and affords interested tribes an opportunity to develop specific consultation procedures with the Army for projects that result from RCI.
The agreement overcomes potential incompatibilities with Section 106 by including historic preservation as an area of accountability that the private partner will be expected to uphold. Thus, while the Army has determined that management of housing is not within the Armys mission, it has confirmed that stewardship of its historic housing does remain within its mission.
The agreement may serve as a model for RCIs for other Army bases, but is not expected to serve as a prototype agreement pursuant to the regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Therefore, each agreement would be developed among the Army installation, the SHPO, Indian tribes, and the interested public, taking into account the specific nature of each installations historic properties and RCI.
The Army will work with the ACHP on issuing guidance that draws upon
the Fort Bragg model so that other installations will have a useful starting
point for consultation with SHPOs, Indian tribes, and others as they plan
for privatization of base housing.
Staff contact: Martha Catlin
Posted August 15, 2003
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