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A House Divided
Posted at 03:07 PM ET, 05/23/2011

Wal-Mart announces new location for controversial Virginia store

(Bloomberg News)
The preservation organizations that opposed a proposed Wal-Mart store on the Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, Va. during a well-publicized court battle have jointly issued a press release today praising the retail giant for its new proposed site three miles west of the old one. In January, just as a trial on the legality of the actions taken by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in approving the site was getting underway, Wal-Mart decided to choose another location.

Residents of the county had expressed strong support for a Wal-Mart at the battlefield location.

At the time, The Civil War Trust, Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Piedmont Environment Council — all who had opposed the battlefield site — said they would support a Wal-Mart store at another location in the county if it did not did not infringe on the battlefield.

The new site is a commercially zoned property at the intersection of Virginia Route 3 and Somerset Ridge Road and Wal-Mart said in a press release that the design and size would be similar to the one that had been proposed in 2009 on the battlefield but outside the Wilderness Battlefield National Park.

Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer said by choosing an alternative site, “Wal-Mart has demonstrated that preservation groups and retailers can work together to find universally beneficial resolutions.”

National Trust for Historic Preservation president Stephanie Meeks echoed Lighthizer’s comments in saying, “The new Wal-Mart location is a win-win solution that benefits the citizens of Orange County, the retailer and the preservation of a nationally significant place.”

Wal-Mart has not set a date for a ground breaking ceremony.

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By Linda Wheeler  |  03:07 PM ET, 05/23/2011

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