Proposed Approval of Two One-Story Livestock Sheds with Roof-Mounted Solar Collectors

Green Springs National Historic Landmark District » Proposed Approval of Two One-Story Livestock Sheds with Roof-Mounted Solar Collectors » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) invites review of and comment on its proposed determination of No Adverse Effect to historic properties by (and thus its proposed approval of) a project planned and to be funded by the owner of a 12-acre property under NPS-held conservation easement in the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District, Louisa County, Virginia: construction of two (2) one-story, two-walled, open-front-and-back, wood-framed, shed roofed (metal roofing), rectangular-plan, gravel-floored livestock sheds—referred to below as "East Shed" (farthest from the c. 1875/c.2003 manor house referenced in the conservation easement) and "West Shed" (nearest). Each shed would be constructed in the southeast corner of one of two existing, fenced, adjoining livestock paddocks.

The roof of each of the two proposed sheds (each roof tilted to the south) would host flat solar-collectors, colored black. A cable to carry the solar-generated power would be installed underground, extending west from the West Shed to the East Shed and then to the existing house at a foundation-junction where an addition and connecting-passage were in c. 2003 joined to the house, specifically to a kitchen addition itself attached to the rear (south) facade of the house sometime after 1875).

The panels installed on the two sheds would compose a 25 kW system generating approximately 34,000 kWh/Yr of energy. This would operate as a consumer solar-panel system and create power for the internal use of the host property—as opposed to functioning as a commercial solar-farm that generates income through sale of power for use external to the property—for family needs and livestock-care and other farming functions, including those occurring within the existing structures ancillary to the house. (The conservation easement prohibits industrial and commercial uses of the property, beyond farming and other than those that occur within existing structures.)

Each shed would be identical in design, measure in plan 21'10" in width, and 15'8" in depth, and 12' in height at the highest (north) edge of its roof; have two walls (east and west) composed of horizontal weatherboards colored brown (no walls on north and south); a roof clad in metal colored gray (topped by a layer of the solar panels colored black); and rest upon eight, square posts colored brown and anchored in footers each requiring an excavation of about 4' in depth and 2' by 2' in area. The installation of the single, underground power conduit connecting the two sheds to one another and to the house—at a point where a c. 2003 addition and passage connect to a post-1875 kitchen addition to the south of the c. 1875 house. The conduit would necessitate excavation, along three segments that connect as a single corridor, of a total area of 4" (inches) wide, 2' deep, and 250' long.

For further details, see the information packet "Proposed Livestock Sheds with Roof Solar-Collectors at Property Under Conservation Easement, Green Springs NHLD" in the Document List, at upper left on this webpage. The information packet includes location map, site photo, and site plan that includes mapping of Area of Potential Effect.

-Basis of Review, Conservation-easement provisions:
NPS reviews the owner's proposal (the review constituting a federal undertaking) as required by the terms of an NPS-managed conservation easement that was created by deed of easement in 1975. Section 2 of the Restrictions-section of the easement states that "farm buildings or structures" may be erected in a way that would, in the opinion of the Grantee (NPS), "be in keeping with the historic character of the manor house, its setting and the character of the Green Springs Historic District, and provided that the prior written approval of the Grantee to such action shall have been obtained." As a federal agency, NPS reaches the decisions for prior, written approval, required by this and other conservation easements, under the terms of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended. The NPS review is limited to the scope and terms of the easement and does not also imply or address any additional reviews, requirements, or restrictions of Louisa County or other authorities, such as those of the county Code of Ordinances.

NPS has requested concurrence by the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer for NPS expediting this review, per 36 CFR 800.3(g), by combining the steps of: Initiation of Consultation; Identification of Historic Properties; and Assessment of Adverse Effects.

-Identification of historic properties:
the c. 1875 "manor house" (south addition and connecting passage constructed c. 2003) referenced in the 1975 conservation easement, and the sites (pastureland) of the proposed two livestock-sheds and the underground power conduit connecting those to the house are components of the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District. The National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Landmark District lists the house among 35 properties of "Outstanding," contributing significance. Before rendering final decision on the owner's proposal, NPS will conduct and consider the results of a Phase One archeological survey at the sites of the sheds and the course of the buried power-conduit. However, NPS believes that limited nature of the ground-disturbance needed for construction would likely not result in the loss of any significant archeological or cultural sites, features, or data.

-Resource-avoidance planning and considerations:
When potential views are considered within the Area of Potential Effect (see "APE," or blue triangle on attached site-plan), the earth-tone colors, low-profiles (12') and locations of the proposed sheds on a downslope bordered by mature vegetation would render those invisible from the nearest public thoroughfare (Va. Rt. 22) and neighboring properties in the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District.
Those same earth-tone colors, low, 12-foot profiles; and locations, including distance from the manor house, behind existing, mature vegetation and existing three-board, five-foot-high fences, would render the sheds mainly invisible from the manor house.

-Area of Potential Effect (blue triangle): The area of potential effect is composed of the footprints of the proposed sheds and buried power-conduit, and the surrounding area evaluated for potential visibility of the sheds.

Comment may be offered via the telephone-number given below, or by clicking the "Document List" link at upper left, then clicking on the document itself.

Contact Information

Noel Harrison, Manager of Easements