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The Case for Local Control

Consider:  The President supports building a Mosque at Ground Zero.  So, why can’t the people of Orange County, Virginia build a Walmart?

The case against it

From “The Free Lance-Star” Saturday August 14, 2010

Read full article

The Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield and six nearby residents are suing the Orange County, Virginia Board of Supervisors over its approval of a special-use permit to allow Walmart to build a 138,000-square foot Supercenter a quarter-mile north of State Route 3, near the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, about 3 miles from our home at Lake of the Woods.  The plaintiffs claim that the Orange County zoning ordinance doesn’t “give reasonable consideration to the objective of protecting against destruction or encroachment upon historic areas” and that the Walmart site is part of the Civil War battlefield.

“We’re arguing that there is a substantive defect in the ordinance,” Rosenbaum said. “The plaintiff wants the county to adopt an ordinance that goes along with the state statute.

Orange County Attorney Sharon Pandak argues that there is no federal or state law that addresses what needs to be included in a zoning ordinance in regard to battlefields and that it is up to each locality to set historic preservation provisions in their zoning ordinances.

The suit also claims supervisors failed to comply with the county’s comprehensive plan and that the Planning Commission made procedural errors in the course of three separate votes on the permit.

In addition to the county, defendants include Walmart and the owners and developer of the 51-acre parcel where the store is to be built.

The trial is set for January 25, 2010.

The case for it

According to Walmart’s website, here are the benefits of this development project:

The project is expected to create approximately 300 new jobs, the majority of which would be full time positions.

  • In 2008, Walmart Stores and Sam’s Club gave $13,497,262.00 in cash and in-kind donations to local causes and organizations in the communities they serve in the state of Virginia. Through additional funds raised through stores and clubs throughout the state, Wal-Mart contributed and raised a grand total of $14,753,255.00 as a result of its presence in Virginia.
  • An independently-certified study showed that Wal-Mart saves the average American household more than $2,500 per year, regardless of where they choose to shop.
  • Shoppers will also benefit from Wal-Mart’s $4 Prescription Drug Program that has saved customers more than $1.6 billion dollars since it was introduced.
  • 17 acres of land – one third of the total project area – will be preserved for conservation and left in a natural state.
  • Walmart is leading a global sustainability effort to reduce energy consumption through a variety of initiatives that will also be used at this store.
  • The average wage for regular, full-time hourly associates in Virginia is $11.20 per hour (Walmart Discount Stores, Supercenters, and Neighborhood Markets). Additionally, associates are eligible for performance-based bonuses.
  • Nearly 2/3 of all our management associates company-wide, began their careers as hourly associates.
  • Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Virginia more than $277.4 million in sales taxes in 2008.
  • Wal-Mart paid more than $30.5 million in state and local taxes in the state of Virginia in 2008.
  • The new store will help fulfill the County’s goal of diversifying the economic base that will help fund various projects and priorities.

Should Orange County, Virginia be permitted by the court to build the Walmart?

Categories: Economy, News
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