Jeff knows a lot about it; it was featured on Yahoo yesterday.
The proposed casino is a smoke screen. While the enabling state
legislation allows the new Gaming Commission to toally ignore local zoning
ordinances, and local popular opposition, there is enough of it in Adams
County to really make things uncomfortable for any developer who wants to
build the casino. The two men involved, David Levan and Bob Monahan are
local entrepeneurs: Levan built Battlefield Harley Davidson on East Cavalry
Field Road at Rte 30, and is very philanthropic in the community, especially
with preservation efforts. Monahan is the developer who was initially
supposed to get the contract for the new Visitor's Center in the Park. He
wanted to put it on land he acquired for it at US 30 and York Street.
Instead, it went to another developer. Then he began touting the property
for a Convention and Hotel Complex. It is currently under construction
there (southwast corner of the interchange).
The casino is proposed for the northeast corner of the same interchange,
just on the other side of US 30 from the Convention and Hotel center. It is
proposed for the same 42 acres site that Walmart had proposed three years
ago as the site for a new superstore. The problem then was an adjoining 14
acre plot obtained by the local township (Straban) under the Federal "Lands
to Parks Program". All the township had to do to get it was plan to use the
land of educational or recreational purposes, budet for the development of
the property for those purposes, budget to maintain the property for that
purpose, and keep the land in perpetuity. Yet a year later they wanted to
swap the ground with Walmart in exchange for Walmart building a couple of
ball fields in back of their 42 acre plot. When questions arose about the
timing of events, such as when Walmart first approached the township about
the property, and when the Township began the land acquisition process,
Walmart couldn't get out of town fast enough.
The local legislators saw this coming a year ago and ran a poll. Red county
that it is, Adams County registered voters overwhelmingly rejected gaming in
the county (over 70% said "NO"). The local school district opted out of an
optional deal to accept gambling money in lieu of lost revenues from real
estate taxes lowered when the school district surrendered taxing authority
back to the voters. The reason? Gambling-tainted money is unacceptable.
In the face of this, the casino will not be built in Adams County. So,
what's the point of this exercise?
Straban Township sits on the northeast shoulder of the borough of
Gettysburg, and extends out from there for many miles to the north,
northeast, east and southeast. It is currently about 70% agricultural,
being responsible for much of the cattle, corn, wheat, and soybeans raised
in Adams County. The staple of Adams County farm production is, of course,
its fruit production. According to the official Adams County website, Adams
County is first in the state in production of Apples and Peaches.
Further, the website states the county ranks 4th in wheat, and 5th in
soybeans. It is 13th in dairy milking production and 17th in production of
broiler chickens. Much of this production (except the fruit) comes from
10 days ago, the Hanover Sunday Sun ran an article detailing the results of
an 18 month effort by a "Land Use Planning Committee" in Straban Township.
The proposal called for the change of almost 8,000 acres of open and
agricultural ground to residential, commercial and mixed use. That equals a
78.3% reduction in Agricultural and open acreage.
The Township supervisors voted on the porposed change to their zoning plan
the next night, and of course, adopted it 2-1. It's always good press for
one of the supervisors to oppose a controversial vote so they can mouth
sympathetic words for the press (who are in bed with them). These boys
never say no to anyone who wants to lay asphalt of concrete.
These are the folks who have allowed Campt Letterman to get sold off for
commercial development in spite of state grants of large sums to prevent
that from happening. They created a historical protective zoning ordinance
and then refused to use it. They still intend to take the entire Daniel
Lady Farm, the only preserved Confederate site north of the Mason Dixon
Line, and turn it into a residential-commercial center.
That's what its all about.
developers are the bane of small towns,. build ,scoot with the dough and
leave a completely changed town. here towns sell off open lands hoping to
increase the tax base, what they get instead is strained town services
schools too small overnight , piles of trash with nowhere to put it, an
inadequate road net and a soaring tax rate. and the developer rides off to
the next victim.
here in mass they have a law, the anti-snob law, it says if less than ten
percent of the town is affordable housing they can ignore local zoning laws
and build as they please. developers use this law to threaten towns with
"section 8 housing", that is the term for inner city poor being brought in
if they aren't allowed to build what they want which high end housing and
mega-condo developements. developers through savy campaign contributions and
orwellian language like anti-snob zoning get their way. who would be in
favor of snob zoning. rich towns like wellesley and weston have the money to
fight, poor towns are safe, its the middle class towns like dedham, a town
of single family housing trying to avoid becomeing the city that get
> the entire Daniel Lady Farm, the only preserved Confederate site
> north of the Mason Dixon Line
What's a "Confederate site"? What is a "preserved Confederate site"?
Does a band of Rebels galloping through St. Albans, Vermont make
the town a Confederate site? And if one of them fired a shot which
lodged in someone's wall, and the slug is still there, is that
a "preserved" Confederate site?
The Daniel Lady Farm was the Headquarters and later hospital for Edward
"Allegheny" Johnson's Division of Ewell's Corps. They were the last to
arrive on the night of July 1, and were sent out to the Lady Farm on the
east slope of Benner's Hill (just across from and below the Benner Farm).
In that position, they guarded the left flank of the ANV at Gettysburg. On
July 2, elements of the Sonewall Brigade (Walker), primarily the 2nd
Virginia Infantry under Col. John Quincy Adams Nadenbousch, skirmished the
entire day with elements of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry and the 10 New York
Cavalry in what is now called the Battle of Brinkerhoff's Ridge. Because of
this protracted engagement (it lasted all day), the Stonewall Brigade had to
say behind when Johnson's Division advanced on the lower slope of Culp's
Hill about 5 PM, in concert with Longstreet's assault on the southern end of
the Battlefield. Johnson's Division occupied some of the positions formerly
set up by Union troops, who had temporarily been pulled out to help with the
defense of Cemetery Ridge. When the Union troops came back around 1 AM
there was a nasty firefight over the positions.
Some consider the lack of the Sonewall Brigade to be enough of a reduction
in the attacking force that Johnson was unable to continue on to the upper
crest of Culp's Hill, then defended by Brigadier General William Sears "Pop"
Greene and his brigade of New Yorkers. While the Stonewall Brigade did
finally advance, it was after dark and late in the action.
The Daniel Lady Farm was the left flank of the Army of Northern Virginia.
It is under preservation efforts to restore the farmhouse and barn. The
barn's restoration is nearly complete, with a fresh coat of paint, new rook,
new cupolas, and structural repairs. Some of the original oak beams from
its construction in 1843 still contain their bark, and one contains a rather
large chunk of Union artillery shell that burst through the stone wall of
the foundation and lodged in the first beam.
The front parlor of the farmhouse contains bloodstains believed to be from
Captain William D. Brown, Commander of the Chesapeake (Maryland) Artillery,
and Major James W. Latimer, Commanding Ewell's Artillery Brigade, which was
blasted off Benner's Hill by the guns under the command of Colonel Charles
S. Wainwright, First Corps Artillery Brigade Commander, stationed on East
Cemetery Hill. Both Latimer and Brown had limbs amputated there. Latimer's
bloodstains show up in digital photos quite clearly showing how the body was
positioned for the amputations. Latimer was taken back to Virginia with
the retreat, and died about a month after wounding. Brown was taken to the
AoP Second Corps Hospital on Taneytown Road and died about 5 days after his
The Lady Farm is about 140 acres owned by the Gettysburg Battlefield
Preservation Association (www.gbpa.org ), and is under severe threat from
the local township that it wll be carved up for development.
Not many people noticed.
<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
Like Dimitri, I am confused. I don't doubt for a minute that
the township might want to pave things over --- we've seen
that same kind of drive in Manassas, Spotsylvania, and
Franklin. What I don't understand is how a casino proposal
helps them accomplish this.
people feel so relieved at stopping the casino that any eles sounds
relieved of their cash.