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alton woods
11-19-2009, 03:02 PM
Got my letter today from Walmart....all is good at the Wilderness....yeah....

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October 21, 2009

Thank you for your recent email regarding our plans for a retail store in Orange County, Virginia. We appreciate your input and respect your concerns. Your thoughts are very important to us.

Walmart is very sensitive to ensuring that our development is respectful of the County's unique location and history. :o We have developed this site with that specific concern in mind -- and in response to specific feedback we have received from the County leadership and its residents. :confused:

It is important to note that the site in question has been properly zoned for commercial use for nearly 20 years and the Countyís comprehensive plan also calls for this area to be developed for future commercial use.
Prior to submitting any application for a special use permit at this location, our representatives spent a significant amount of time meeting with county officials, representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), representatives of the National Park Service and others (including a publicized community meeting attended by more than 100 local residents) to obtain feedback regarding the proposal.
The site fronts on a four lane divided highway, in an area where the County has approved and authorized other commercial uses, none of which were built with the design standards and buffering that we are offering. The area is no longer rural in nature, as evidenced by the fact the site in question is near the entrance of a planned residential community with more than 7,000 homes along with existing commercial development (car dealerships, fast food restaurants, gas stations, banks and other commercial businesses). We are not proposing any changes to the existing road configuration in the area -- it will remain as it exists today, with only localized mitigation such as acceleration and deceleration lanes designed to improve the flow of traffic at the site.
Regarding visibility of the site, the store will be located nearly 1/2 mile from the public entrance to the Park, and behind an extensive buffer. It should also be noted that the proposal includes the preservation of nearly 17.5 acres (or nearly 1/3 of the total site) closest to the National Park Service property, and nearly one acre of buffering directly in front of the store. We have also conducted view shed studies of the proposed location. Due to its location on the site, grading activity which will lower the elevation, the extensive tree preservation, and the planting of supplemental mature trees, we do not expect our development to be visible from the Park.
All of these many factors undoubtedly played a role in the projectís recent approvals by local elected officials. It was compelling that the clear majority of the local residents at public hearings supported the store at its current site. The community has spoken and with a 4-1 vote of the Board of Supervisors which was preceded by a 5-1 vote of the Planning Commission, it was clear there was overwhelming support for this project.

Again, thank you for sharing your concern with us and we hope we have addressed the issue to your satisfaction.



Sincerely,
Keith Morris
Keith Morris
Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations

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the amazing thing about this letter...when I scratched it...it smelt like something stepped in when I was kid...