Archaeological Protection Code
The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Alexandria, Virginia
Section 11-411: Archaeology Protection
Adopted June 24, 1992
(A) Archaeological resource areas.
A preliminary site plan which includes land designated as a potential resource area on the City of Alexandria Archaeological Resource Map, shall include reasonable archaeological evaluation reports and resource management plans when required under this section 11-411. The archaeological resource map, which is on file in the office of the director of historic Alexandria and the office of the city archaeologist is hereby made a part of this ordinance.
This section 11-411 shall apply to all applications for preliminary or combined site plan or other development approval, otherwise subject to its provisions, which are filed subsequent to September 16, 1989.
This section 11-411 shall be administered by the director of the office of historic Alexandria who may adopt reasonable procedures for its administration, consistent with applicable law.
(D) Preliminary archaeological assessment.
Prior to filing an application for approval of a preliminary site plan to which this section 11-411 applies, the applicant shall confer with the director of the office of historic Alexandria in order for the director to conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential archaeological significance of any site plan area designated on the map, and of the impact of any proposed ground disturbing activities on such area. The applicant shall provide full and accurate information as to all ground disturbing activities proposed to be conducted on the site.
(E) Criteria for preliminary assessment.
Such preliminary archaeological assessment shall be based upon the following criteria, and shall be conducted consistent with professionally recognized standards for archaeological site evaluation:
(1) Research value. The extent to which the archaeological data that might be contained on the property would contribute to the expansion of knowledge.
(2) Rarity. The degree of uniqueness the property’s resources possess and their potential for providing archaeological information about a person, structure, event or historical process, for which there are very few examples in Alexandria.
(3) Public Value. The level of importance the property has to the community as a location associated with a significant person, structure, event or historical process.
(4) Site integrity. The extent to which soil stratigraphy and original placement and condition of archaeological resources on the property have not been disturbed or altered in a manner which appreciably reduces their research or public value.
(5) Presence of materials. The extent to which archaeological resources or evidence of historic structures are present on the property.
(6) Impact on resources. The extent to which any proposed ground disturbing activities will alter or destroy resources which the director has determined to have substantial archaeological significance under sections 11-411(E)(1) though (5) above.
(F) Finding of archaeological significance.
(1) If, at the conclusion of the preliminary archaeological assessment, the director of the office of historic Alexandria determines either that the site plan area has no substantial archaeological significance, or that the proposed construction or development will not have a substantial adverse impact on any known or potential archaeological resources, the director of the office of historic Alexandria shall so certify to the planning commission, and no further review under this section 11-411 shall be required.
(2) If, at the conclusion of the preliminary archaeological assessment, the director of the office of historic Alexandria determines that the site plan area has potential archaeological significance, and that the proposed development will have a substantial adverse impact on any known or potential archaeological resources, the applicant shall submit an archaeological evaluation report and a resource management plan as part of the preliminary site plan application.
(3) The director of the office of historic Alexandria shall render a determination in writing, within seven working days after receiving the information, unless written consent to extend such period is given by the applicant.
(G) Archaeological evaluation report and resource management plan.
(1) When required under the provisions of this section 11-411, the applicant shall submit as part of the preliminary site plan application an archaeological evaluation report and a resource management plan, prepared by a qualified archaeologist or historian in conformity with professionally recognized standards for cultural resource management. The applicant or the authorized agent thereof shall confer with the director of the office of historic Alexandria prior to preparing any submission to define and agree upon guidelines for such report and plan.
(2) Such archaeological evaluation report shall include detailed evaluation of the archaeological significance of the site plan area, including but not limited to reasonable measures for historic research, archaeological surveys and test excavations.
(3) Such resource management plan shall include reasonable measures for the study and preservation of archaeological resources found withing the site plan area, including but not limited to test and full-scale excavations, site construction monitoring, field recording, photography laboratory analysis, conservation of organic and metal artifacts, curation of the collection (e.g., artifacts, notes, photographs) and preparation of reports.
(4) Such resource management plan may, and if required by the planning commission or city council shall, also provide reasonable measures for further archaeological study, restoration , reconstruction, disposition of recovered artifacts to an appropriate public or private collection or museum, and in situ preservation of archaeological resources found within the site plan area.
(H) Review of archaeological evaluation report and resource management plan.
(1) The archaeological evaluation report and resource management plan shall be reviewed and approved, disapproved or approved with modifications or conditions or both as part of the site plan review process.
(2) In the event a site plan application and review is required exclusively on account of ground disturbing activities not otherwise subject to such application and review, then and in such an event, notwithstanding any other provisions of this ordinance, the required site plan application and review shall be limited to the purposes and requirements of this section 11-411, and the application fee shall be as prescribed pursuant to section 11-104.
Section 2-151: Ground Disturbing Activity
Any movement of earth or substrate, manually or mechanically, including but not limited to any modification of existing grade by dredging, demolition, excavation or fill, grading, scraping, vegetation removal, landscaping, coring, well drilling, pile driving, undergrounding utility lines, trenching, bulldozing, sheeting, shoring and excavation for laying or removing foundations, pilings or other purposes, for which any permit or approval is required under the provisions of the city code.