|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||September 13, 2006|
Joy Oakes, NPCA, 202-329-6815
Unfulfilled Promises Degrades Scenic Beauty of New River Gorge
Press Statement by NPCA Mid-Atlantic Senior Regional Director Joy Oakes
“Tonight, the Fayette County Board of Zoning Appeals failed to take reasonable and necessary steps to protect the area’s prime attraction—New River Gorge National River. Instead 80 out of almost 2,000 lots that were in dispute will now be built, partially obscuring the scenic views that lure thousands of visitors annually to our community.
Over the past few months, the Land Resources Corporation (LRC) and Fayette County planning staff have made repeated pledges to protect the scenic beauty of the Gorge as they move forward with this development. Unfortunately tonight’s decision means that these pledges will be unfulfilled.
When given the opportunity to confirm under oath that their development would not degrade the scenic beauty of New River Gorge, LRC officials could not and would not do so.
Development and park protection can coexist if done in a responsible manner. Despite some improvements to LRC’s original plan, problems still remain. Fayette County officials have the responsibility and the authority to require that developers take reasonable steps to protect this region’s beauty for present and future generations to enjoy.”