For Immediate Release: 08/12/03
Stephenson's Depot Battlefield Remains Threatened by Development
Despite claims to the contrary, Shockey proposal remains principal threat to historic site
(Stephenson's Depot, VA) - The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) issued the following statement today about the status of Stephenson's Depot battlefield. The fate of the battlefield and Milburn Rural Historic District may be decided at an August 13, 2003 meeting of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors.
"Recent statements by a county official seem to indicate that a deal has been struck to save Stephenson's Depot battlefield. This is unfortunately not the case. Although a portion of the battlefield may be protected as part of the Shockey Companies' Stephenson Village proposal, a majority of the core of the battlefield will be destroyed if the Shockey plan proceeds.
"The Stephenson's Village proposal will transform a historic and rural community into a 2,800-unit artificial city that will overwhelm the local transportation network. Further, the Shockey plan will serve as a magnet for additional sprawl in the county — sprawl that will destroy more battlefield land and require millions of taxpayer dollars for new roads, new schools, and police and fire protection.
"It didn't have to be this way. The Civil War Preservation Trust and local preservationists are committed to reaching a compromise that would allow the core battlefield land to be preserved. However, rather than bargain in good faith, the Shockey Companies and its surrogates prefer to negotiate in the pages of local newspapers. As a result, little real progress has been made and no federal grants have been awarded.
"The Civil War Preservation Trust pledges to work with local government officials to find a solution that benefits all county residents. We also urge the county board of supervisors to reject the rezoning request for Stephenson's Village. Otherwise, a unique and irreplaceable part of Frederick County's heritage will be lost forever."
With 45,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.