What if they built a mall and no one came?

Are we really as powerless as Mr. Yardley suggested {Style, Feb. 1} in halting developers' plans to build a mall next to Manassas Battlefield?

I suggest citizens express their displeasure at this encroachment by pledging early on never to darken the doors of the damnable mall should it be built. There are plenty of other places to shop.

Perhaps such a pledge list delivered to the developers would give them reason to reconsider their plans. Our history is full of instances of the efficacy of boycotts or threatened boycotts.

MARTIN LAWSON

Falls Church

Hooray for Jonathan Yardley's brave words. I am a Californian who recently moved to the Washington area to remarry. I am appalled at the laxity of zoning restrictions, the lack of interest in and respect for open lands, the scarcity of state and county parklands and the apathy of a public that averts its eyes from overdevelopment.

Development here is indeed the monster that is eating up the countryside and giving us all nothing back but overpopulation, more traffic jams and pollution and more stores to shop in. We already have more than enough! Children and teens especially can't seem to think of anything more creative to do with their time than cruise the shopping malls. This is sad.

I am investing my money in a few acres of land in the California gold country; at least I won't have to spend my old age here in a town house or high-rise listening to the roar of a beltway, afraid to walk in the streets alone.

EVA WINER JACOBS

Bethesda