Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who Looks Bad Now? Orange County's Statement on Walmart's Decision

This morning I came across the following excerpt in an article on the Wilderness Walmart published by the Star Exponent of Culpeper, Virginia:
Orange County in a prepared statement Wednesday, said it “was stunned and disappointed” to learn Walmart would not build in the Wilderness.

“Forces from largely outside the county, using exaggeration, took advantage of the horrors of the Civil War to achieve their own goals,” the county statement said. “Their approach was contrary to a federal battlefield commission which encouraged cooperation with the locality. Even the eminent James McPherson conceded that no event of historic significance occurred on this land.”
As an attorney, I understand that a tenacious defendant may not want to let go of a flawed decision that got it into a legal mess and admit that it was wrong.  However, what does Orange County gain by such a statement, when even the big, bad corporate giant Walmart has agreed not to build on historic land near the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park?  In fact, Walmart is actually going to hold the commercially zoned property as undeveloped land in perpetuity.  And Walmart said that it will build elsewhere in Orange County. The county should have swallowed its pride, and either remained silent, or welcomed a solution that struck an apporpriate balance between preservation and economic development.  Orange County's lust for development at all costs comes through loud and clear in its poorly thought-out statement.


Anonymous said...

The Orange County Board of Stupid-visers needs to get a clue. How many of them are even originally from this area anyway. Thank you Walmart for preserving this land.

Ron Baumgarten said...

It does stike me as unbelievable that people, including some natives I have seen quoted in the press, can live around the Wilderness Battlefield and not appreciate its historic significance and the goal of preserving such hallowed ground. Even more unbelievable is the fact that elected representatives from that area have displayed such a disregard for the past. Hopefully preservation-minded voters will keep this in mind next election.