Orange County, VA - Walmart is trying to build a large store (do they build any other kind?) in Virginia. The county's Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the special use permit application that Walmart needs to move forward on the proposed site. The surprising twist relates to the archaeology.
The most substantive condition discussed related to archaeological artifacts and resources which may be found on the nearly 30-acre site at the intersection of Rt. 3 and Rt. 708 in the county's eastern end.
According to Orange County Attorney Sharon Pandak, Walmart officials have agreed to increase their level of archaeological studies beyond what may be required by law.
The National Historic Preservation Act calls for three phases of study, with the later phases triggered by resources found in preceding studies.
In this case, she explained, Walmart is agreeing to all three levels of study-whether they're compelled to or not. As part of that agreement, an archaeologist will be on site during initial clearing and grading to catalog or recover artifacts and to document any findings and make them available to the county.
Well then. Walmart has agreed to do ALL phases of study whether they are told to or not. I hope someone follows up on this. It would be interesting if they agree to mitigate a massive site for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I really hope the archaeologists find something.
Written in Sparks, Nevada
2008 The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (iPad App), Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. Developed by Handmark, Inc.
National Historic Preservation Act An Act that came into force in the USA in 1966, and which has been variously amended since, which establishes a programme for the preservation of historic properties throughout the United States. It covers the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks; the creation of State Historic Preservation Officers; the need for federal agencies to take into account the impact on archaeological and historical resources of any projects they undertake or support (known as a Section 106 review); the establishment of a preservation programme by each federal agency; and the establishment of an Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.