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Buddy Secor

Preservationists: Stop the Largest Rezoning in Orange County History

As preservationists, we recognize that, in order to tell the fullest story possible of American history, it is imperative we protect the hallowed places where this history happened. But when development threatens the livelihood of a battlefield or historic site, it chips away and lessens access to our nation’s heritage.

In Orange County, Virginia, a massive residential and commercial development has been proposed at the gateway to the Wilderness Battlefield. The project would require rezoning of more than 2,600 acres adjacent to core battlefield land. It would irrevocably harm the experience of park visitors and subject tourists and local residents alike to increased traffic, exacerbated environmental concerns and more.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In 2015, Orange County created its own Germanna Wilderness Area Plan, providing an outline for balancing growth with protection of historic resources like the Wilderness Battlefield. Similarly, the Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study — developed by the American Battlefield Trust and its partners in the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition — advocated for a model of development that would protect the battlefield but allow for reasonable, responsible growth.

Please join us and sign the letter urging Orange County officials to reconsider the development and adhere to the county’s own Germanna Wilderness Area Plan.

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