Special to the Rappahannock News
The Flint Hill area is both rural and historic, but should it be formally designated a “Rural Historic District?” The question is scheduled to be addressed next Monday, May 10, at a public hearing at the Rappahannock County Courthouse on Gay Street, by the state Department of Historic Resources. The hearing is at 6 p.m.
According to County Administrator John McCarthy, no local taxpayer monies are involved, and the efforts to designate Rural Historic Districts are driven by local citizenry.
Originally, the F.T. Valley was also being considered for designation, but that is apparently no longer on Monday’s agenda.
There are currently no designated Rural Historic Districts in Rappahannock.
In neighboring Fauquier County, however, the John Marshall’s Leeds Manor Rural Historic District contains 22,184 acres centered on the Leeds Manor Road between Rattlesnake and Cobbler Mountains. Also, Springs Valley Rural Historic District contains 7,510 acres nestled among the Piney Ridge Range, Upper and Lower Harts Mountains, Picketts Mountain, and Lees Ridge. And the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) took the lead in the designation of the Crooked Run Valley Rural Historic District, encompassing 18,630 acres of picturesque rural landscape in northwest Fauquier.
Designation of a district, according to the PEC, helps foster a sense of place — which, hopefully, mitigates how the place is treated. It also adds a layer of protection against federal and federally funded projects. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that Federal agencies allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on all projects affecting historic properties either listed in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register.
The National Register defines a rural historic landscape as a geographical area that historically has been used by people, or shaped or modified by human activity, occupancy, or intervention, and that possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of areas of land use, vegetation, buildings and structures, roads and waterways, and natural features.