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Archive for August 25th, 2009

After last Thursday night’s Planning Commission public hearing the commission voted on the proposed Wilderness Walmart.  There were eight commissioners in attendance and they split their vote 4-4.  According to the county bylaws, this in effect results in a denial of the application since there was not a majority vote in favor of the proposal.  There was some discussion among the Planning Commission and attorneys after the 4-4 vote was cast, and in the end the commission adjourned the meeting indicating the matter was settled.

On Friday, however, county officials realized that sending the proposal to the Board of Supervisors with a negative recommendation was simply unacceptable, and decided to reconvene Friday evening for what had been a scheduled meeting to discuss the Walmart proposal further if no vote was cast Thursday night.  They called this meeting even though some commission members would be unavailable and in spite of the fact that they had adjourned Thursday night after voting, which would indicate that the vote had settled the matter.  Of course, one more Walmart supporter was able to attend and they ended up voting 5-1 in favor of the Walmart.

With this vote in hand the matter moved to the Board of Supervisors with a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission.

Since the commission had adjourned Thursday after voting, instead of recessing, most everyone involved, including the public, understood this to mean that the vote was final and the application would now go to the Board of Supervisors.  For the Planning Commission to revisit the vote in the manner they did is not only curious, but also highly inappropriate.  They were too concerned about getting a positive vote before the Supervisors held a public hearing that they hastily gathered again, knowing that the second time would yield the result they wanted, and cast their votes again.

This is just another example of how poorly Orange County has handled this Walmart proposal from start to finish.

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Email the Orange County Board of Supervisors and let them know how upset you are with their decision to approve the Wilderness Walmart. Here are the four Supervisors who voted in favor of the Walmart:

Mark Johnson – rmj142@yahoo.com

Zack Burkett – zburkett@orangecountyva.gov

Teel Goodwin – Teel.Goodwin@vabb.com

Lee Frame – leeframe@orangecountyva.gov

And send a big thank you to Supervisor Teri Pace (tpacedist4@aol.com) for being such a strong and constant supporter of the Wilderness Battlefield and National Park and for voting against Walmart!

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Wilderness Walmart approved

Around 1:00 a.m. this morning Supervisors in Orange County voted 4-1 to allow Walmart to build on the Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County.  The vote came after more than 100 citizens spoke on the proposal at the public hearing.  The vote was not a surprise since 3 of the Supervisors, a majority, had publicly expressed their support for the proposal for many months during the process.

Read an article on the public hearing and vote from the Washington Post here.

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