COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

National Byway Designation, Routes 20, 22 and 231

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Adopt a resolution supporting National Byway All-American Road designation for Routes 20, 22 and 231.

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Cilimberg, and Benish

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 1, 2008

 

        ACTION:                     INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

        ACTION:    X               INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) Partnership is requesting all localities along the JTHG corridor, from the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania to Monticello, adopt resolutions supporting the designation of Routes 15, 20, 22 and 231 as National Scenic Byways Program, All-American Roads.  The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and is a grassroots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States.  There are currently 126 National Scenic Byways in the country.  There are four designated in Virginia: Colonial Parkway (Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown), Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway (outside of Washington, D.C.). 

 

One of the JTHG Partnership’s main goals is to coordinate efforts with localities along the corridor and with the transportation officials in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to seek this designation in 2008.  The support of each locality is needed for the 175-mile corridor to be designated as a National Scenic Byway, All-American Road.  A locality may hold a public hearing on the proposed designation, but a public hearing by the locality is not required.

 

The roads proposed for designation as All-American Roads are:

·         Route 20 North (Stony Point Road), from its intersection with Route 250 East to the Orange County line

·         Route 22, from Route 250 E to its junction with Route 231

·         Route 231, from Route 22 to the Louisa County line

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 1:  Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents. 

Goal 2:  Protect the County’s Natural Resources.

Goal 3:  Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development.

 

DISCUSSION:

To be designated a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the following “intrinsic qualities” on a regional level: archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic.  To meet the higher level All-American Road designation, a road must possess at least two of the intrinsic qualities on a national level.  Applying U.S. Department of Transportation standards, the JTHG Partnership determined that the Route 15/20/22/231 corridors meet the criteria for the All-American Road designation.

 

An All-American Road designation does not impose any restrictions on private property with the exception of prohibiting the installation of new signs advertising off-site uses and activities (billboards) along these roads.  Such signage is already restricted by County regulation and the existing Virginia Byway designation along these routes.  All other regulatory authority remains with local and state jurisdictions.

 

According to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) staff, an All-American Road designation would not limit VDOT’s ability to maintain, operate or improve transportation facilities along designated byway corridors, nor would it increase the extent of Federal involvement. (See Attachment A)  These corridors are within a JTHG National Heritage Area. (See Attachment C)  VDOT staff has noted that “the NHA designation is designed to call attention to issues of historic and heritage conservation” and, therefore, “it may increase public attention and scrutiny on the effects of VDOT actions within the NHA.”

 

An All-American Road designation would make affected localities and states eligible for grant funding to support and enhance the National Scenic Byway through the National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grants Program.  According to the JTHG Partnership, the NHA and Routes 20, 22 and 231, if they receive the All-American Road designation, will be included in future American Byways maps published by the U.S. Department of Transportation and will be marketed to national and international visitors with the hope of increasing heritage tourism in the area.

 

Since the designation would not establish any new restrictions on private property except restrictions on billboards, which are already regulated in the County, staff does not believe a public hearing is necessary.  The intent of the designation is consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan goals to protect natural, cultural and historic resources as follows:

Goal: Protect the County’s historic and cultural resources

Objective: Pursue additional protection measures and incentives to preserve Albemarle’s historic and archaeological resources in order to foster pride in the County and maintain the County’s character

Goal: Preserve the County’s scenic resources as being essential to the character, economic vitality and quality of life.

Objective: Maintain the visual integrity of all Albemarle’s roadways.

 

A resolution supporting an All-American designation for Routes 20, 22 and 231 is attached.  Should the Board decide to hold a public hearing, the hearing should be held in November to allow sufficient time to meet required submittal deadlines for federal action in 2008.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

There is no direct budget impact of designating these routes as All-American Roads.  The designation would provide opportunities for grants related to enhancing and protecting the Scenic Byway corridor.  

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached Resolution supporting an All-American Road designation for Routes 20, 22 and 231 in Albemarle County.  Again, since the designation would not establish any new restrictions on private property except restrictions on billboards, which are already regulated in the County, staff does not believe a public hearing is necessary.   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A – Journey Through Hallowed Ground Talking Points (VDOT)

B – Resolution

C – Map showing JTHG National Heritage Area
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