Development Pressure: Residential, Commercial, Industrial April 20, 2015

  • Share:
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email Article

Most of the Shenandoah Valley’s battlefields, located on predominantly level ground near major transportation routes, are vulnerable to development, with those located in or around cities and towns facing the greatest threats from conversion to residential, commercial, or industrial uses.

The problem is especially acute in areas of the northern Valley close to metropolitan Washington, DC.  Both Front Royal and First Winchester battlefields have already suffered such severe loss of integrity that neither was included in the legislation that created the National Historic District.  Of the battlefields included, Third Winchester (Opequon) was identified by the National Park Service in 1992 as being at greatest risk of losing its integrity. Battlefield areas east of Harrisonburg have also experienced development pressure.

Even rural areas, however, are not immune from threat; incremental, low-density residential development here erodes the character of historic open space.

Local preservation planning can contribute to battlefield protection by diverting development to more appropriate areas of a community, such as urban development areas and town centers.  Public support for the protection of a community’s battlefields can also be a crucial factor in the preservation effort.

Most of the Shenandoah Valley’s battlefields, located on predominantly level ground near major transportation routes, are vulnerable to development, with those located in or around cities and towns facing the greatest threats from conversion to residential, commercial, or industrial uses.

The problem is especially acute in areas of the northern Valley close to metropolitan Washington, DC.  Both Front Royal and First Winchester battlefields have already suffered such severe loss of integrity that neither was included in the legislation that created the National Historic District.  Of the battlefields included, Third Winchester (Opequon) was identified by the National Park Service in 1992 as being at greatest risk of losing its integrity. Battlefield areas east of Harrisonburg have also experienced development pressure.

Even rural areas, however, are not immune from threat; incremental, low-density residential development here erodes the character of historic open space.

Local preservation planning can contribute to battlefield protection by diverting development to more appropriate areas of a community, such as urban development areas and town centers.  Public support for the protection of a community’s battlefields can also be a crucial factor in the preservation effort.