Fast Away the Old Year Passes . . . Fa la la la la la la la yeccchh!

Approval of an atrocious Comp Plan update and election of a majority pro-development Board of Supervisors are not the Christmas gifts Hanover residents wanted under our tree this season. Talk about twin disasters setting the County up for more of the same sprawly, old-style planning outcomes.

Look around you. What do you see? Feel like saying something along the lines of “Leapin’ Lizards!” or “Tarnation!” or “Expletive (deleted)”? Then you might be occupying a front row seat to view changes in a place you hoped would afford a bit of sanctuary from the din of encroaching development. Well, here comes the din.

Check out the alarming highlights of current or future development which include, but are not limited to: 277 new rooftops slammed down onto the historic Hickory Hill property; 1795-acre (yep!) Hylas area business park; expansion of the Martin Marietta quarry into the North Anna Battlefield; Wilton Co.’s “East Ashland” monstrosity; poorly sited, oversized Lowe’s in Ashland; traffic-snarling WaWa at Atlee Station Rd./301 and Gander Mountain joining the other squatters on the Chickahominy wetlands.

Oh, why stop there? Coming soon: a request for 200+ homes and commercial at Woodside Lane and Rte 54, crammed in next to “East Ashland”; a request by mulch producer Grind-All to operate off of already truck-and traffic-heavy Ashland Road; and 16 homes in a rural conservation cluster purporting to protect the viewshed at Blanton Road and Rte 54.

And get this. The County was just offered an opportunity for free consulting on a green infrastructure plan, but turned it down because they’re going to be busy with–ta-daaaa!–MORE development!

Come on, Hanoverians, it’s New Year’s Resolution time. Therefore, resolve in 2008 that our county officials–elected, appointed or hired–will NOT retreat into a “deflect and deflate” mode: do not allow them to deflect citizen questions and deflate citizen ideas.

Be informed. Get involved. Avoid using your inside voice.

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Program: American Battlefields-North Anna

Tuesday, Dec. 4th – 6 p.m. – Board Room, County Administration Bldg.

Karen McMasters, with the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), will give a presentation focusing upon the North Anna Battlefield (the Wilderness Campaign).

This is more than a history lesson. It is about preserving and protecting the quality of life in Hanover County, our rural heritage and environment.

There was a huge loss for both Union and Confederate Armies, an estimated 4,000 casualties, where these armies fought May 13-25, 1864. The National Park Service considers North Anna a Priority I battlefield. The Martin Marietta (MM) proposed expansion encompasses 25-30 acres of “killing fields”. There are other historical issues – the house and buildings of the Sletten properties. There are unaddressed environmental issues. There are likely unaddressed Native American issues – military positions were often selected based on the same criteria Native Americans used to establish camps, hunting grounds, and seek protection.

Recent articles in local newspapers have been misleading: failing to state what is in danger. The articles have stated the present North Anna Battlefield Park (80 acres) isn’t in danger – we understand that. But, they have twice failed to state the MM proposal encompasses 720 acres, lying beyond the current park, acres desperately in need of protection!

Planning Commissioners, Supervisors and MM officials are invited. Supervisor Stanley arranged for the location. This is an opportunity to support our officials when they support preservation, to show our enthusiasm for preserving the North Anna, and to talk with decision makers.

The County Adminmistration Building is located at the rear of the County Complex. From Rt. 301 turn onto County Complex Rd. or Library Dr. The building and parking lot are well-lighted. Understanding the meeting time is early, there will be a few snacks available or bring something to munch on. Even if you’re running late – stop by. See you tomorrow night!