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Developers Bulldoze Portion of Harpers Ferry Historical Park


    What is it with developers?
    Earlier this year I recounted the story of developers who bulldozed some Civil War breastworks at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia. Now I'm going to tell you about another bulldozing incident that infringed upon the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
    According to the Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Parks Conservation Association, a number of developers last weekend dug a trench through a portion of the historical park so they could lay down water and sewer lines.   
    "Beginning on the morning of August 19, 2006, a group of local developers moved heavy machinery and work crews onto the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and proceeded to lay water and sewer pipes on historic land where Stonewall Jackson launched one of the most brilliant tactical triumphs of the Civil War,” said CWPT President James Lighthizer.  “The developers had neither authority nor the permits necessary to do this.”

    According to the two groups, the water and sewer lines are intended to serve a planned development of nearly 3,500 homes proposed to be built both inside and adjacent to the Park Service boundary. However, so far the developers have not obtained the necessary permits to conduct the work.   
    “These developers knowingly and defiantly ignored federal laws regarding construction on public land,” said Joy Oakes, Senior NPCA Mid-Atlantic regional director.  “Americans have a right to expect that land protected by the Park Service cannot be bulldozed outside of an orderly and legal review. We encourage federal and state law enforcement officials to pursue these violators to the fullest extent of the law.”
    One question that immediately comes to mind is how did these developers ever got permission to plan a development that would encroach upon the park?


Those who run/operate/work in park simply stood by and let it happen? No attempt to stop these "bums" was made?

Most developers have adopted a "Better to ask forgiveness than permission." attitude in almost all areas. In my neighborhood the builder had permits for 10 houses and built 93 without proprer permits or water supply. No consequenses to him but the new home owners have no fire hydrants and roads too steep for the fire trucks to get in and therefore have outragious insurance rates and poor water pressure. The developers are just appling the usual methods that have worked for them for ages. They need to be hit where it hurts. Fine them mightily and make them remove any instalation and repair the damage. As long as there are no consequences then they will continue. Officials who are supposed to enforce the laws should be held accountable too. Again find a way to make it cost them personally. That is the only way to stop them!

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