County Planning Meeting – WalMart and Wilderness

Tonight, for better or worse, I am attending the Planning Commission meeting for Orange County, Va.* I have read the staff report regarding MalWart’s request for permission to build on the edge of the county, and the conditions for approval.

I do not want the WalMart in this county.  I object to it on social, historical, and political grounds. That said, I recognize that the historical preservationist argument has failed to convince the county residents who support the WalMart. Having read the staff report, here are the questions I want to have answered tonight:

  • Who is going to pay for the roads to be built? VDOT listed 8 actions which would need to be taken in order for the site not to create traffic problems. Where is this money going to come from?
  • Where is the money for extra law enforcement going to come from? Do we really think private security will be sufficient? The Walmart will be right on the border with Spotsylvania County.
  • How feasible is finding a solution to the water supply issue? Will the county allow them to build without the water there in case of a fire?
  • How is the County going to hold WalMart accountable to the recommendations in A1? Fine them? Slap them on the wrist? Or cause them to cease and desist? As far as I can tell, WalMart doens’t play by anyone’s rules but its own!

Also: the estimated economic impact of WalMart – jobs and money brought to the county – is from WalMart. What are external (non-biased) estimates?

I don’t know how long I will last in the meetings. I like discussing historical politics becuase it’s all gone – if the meeting gets too shouting and non-productive I may leave. I’m not willing to waste my time with people who only listen to themselves talk and do not actually engage in a real dialogue.

*Full disclosure: I don’t live in Orange County, I live in a nearby city. I work in Orange County, and very good friends of mien live near the propsed site.