Re: Fight On At Brandy Station
Sacred ground center of case
C. Clark Ballew
Culpeper Star Exponent
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
The crusade to save a Civil War battleground from residential development will march on to court.
Board directors with the Brandy Station Foundation, a local preservationalist group that has opposed Golden Oaks Construction Company’s plan to build two homes of a proposed eight-unit subdivision in the middle of Brandy Station Battlefield, voted to take its case to Culpeper County Circuit Court last week.
“The vote was unanimous,” BSF President Bob Luddy said. “The discussion before the vote was taken among all the Foundation members was very pro-appeal.”
There was little doubt the Civil War group would continue its appeals process, which has already included a well-publicized and highly passionate speech by historical filmmaker Ron Maxwell at the battlefield site and a defeat at the hands of the county board of zoning appeals.
On Aug. 19, BZA members decided they did not have the legal authority and jurisdiction to decide on the appeal brought forward by BSF attorney Ed Gentry.
Gentry’s appeal revolved around 10 major points, the most notable being the BSF’s position that the county board of supervisors erred in 1989 when it afforded residential zoning to the parcel in question.
The BSF has argued that the 15-year-old zoning decision failed to address the historical significance of the property as required by the state constitution. The BZA said it was not the body that could address such a charge.
Now the appeal will advance to a circuit court judge, although exactly when that decision will take place is yet to be determined.
Luddy said the BSF is hopeful that the appeal will meet a better fate in court.
“Absolutely we are confident,” he said. “We wouldn’t bother with the appeals process if we were not confident.”
C. Clark Ballew may be reached at 825-0771 ext. 110 or
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