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A gateway study seeks common ground for economic development and preservation.
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Plainly put, Ms. Tarallo's op-ed was off the mark in every way but one: Preservationists did indeed "win the second Battle of the Wilderness."
But this victory was not ours alone. By promising to preserve the property it had originally chosen for construction of its new Orange County store and agreeing to select an alternate site away from the battlefield, Walmart ensured that both it and the county emerged victorious as well.
Furthermore, preservationists have remained engaged in Orange County throughout the many months since, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Board of Supervisors, business leaders, landowners, and residents to create a balance between preservation and economic development--and, in the words of Board Chairman Teel Goodwin, "find common ground to meld a future that we all can share."
The name of this joint effort is the Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study.
While Walmart has rightly pledged to preserve the original Wilderness site in perpetuity, the Gateway Study takes a look at the land nearby, serving to illustrate how Orange County can continue to develop the State Route 3 corridor in a way that ensures progress and preservation work hand in hand.
I would encourage Ms. Tarallo and all others wishing to learn of the full scope
As with the "second Battle of the Wilderness," I am confident that the Gateway Study will ultimately prove a win for all involved.
The writer is president, Friends of Wilderness