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Urban sprawl in Middletown and environs

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  • rotbaron@aol.com
    I hadn t driven from Antietam thru Middletown on Alt 40 for several years. Myself and friends were truly shocked at the number of homes sprawling all around
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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      I hadn't driven from Antietam thru Middletown on Alt 40 for several years. Myself and friends were truly shocked at the number of homes sprawling all around Middletown. These developments stretch for miles on both sides of the highway. Also noted the countless new 7-11 type stores, mini-malls, gas stations, etc.

      Heading east on Alt 40 about 5 PM, the west-bound traffic (i.e outbound from DC area) was quite congested and often crawling along bumper-to-bumper.

      Tom Shay


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • rotbaron@aol.com
      As urban sprawl approaches South Mtn, I am reminded of DH Hill s written comments from atop South Mtn at a different threat that was approaching from the east.
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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        As urban sprawl approaches South Mtn, I am reminded of DH Hill's written comments from atop South Mtn at a different threat that was approaching from the east.

        Hill observed "the vast army of McClellan spread out before" him. "The marching columns extended back as far as eye could see... It was a grand and glorious spectacle. It was impossible to look at it with out admiration. I had never seen so tremendous an army before, and I did not see one like it afterward."


        -----Original Message-----
        From: rotbaron@...
        To: talkantietam@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 09:48:42 -0500
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Urban sprawl in Middletown and environs



        I hadn't driven from Antietam thru Middletown on Alt 40 for several years.
        Myself and friends were truly shocked at the number of homes sprawling all
        around Middletown. These developments stretch for miles on both sides of the
        highway. Also noted the countless new 7-11 type stores, mini-malls, gas
        stations, etc.

        Heading east on Alt 40 about 5 PM, the west-bound traffic (i.e outbound from DC
        area) was quite congested and often crawling along bumper-to-bumper.

        Tom Shay


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Stephen Bockmiller
        Let me offer the perspective of a Civil War enthusiast and member of APCWS, who is also a planner employed regulating the land development industry. This is
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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          Let me offer the perspective of a Civil War enthusiast
          and member of APCWS, who is also a planner employed
          regulating the land development industry.

          This is not intended to argue with the statement made
          by Mr. Shay....just offering analysis from someone who
          sees both sides of this issue. The issue of sprawl is
          a highly charged one. I know, as I work for a
          Planning and Zoning Department in the region.

          But what is sprawl? I find that term to be overused
          and used to demonize all development (not implicating
          Mr. Shay). Is sprawl merely the development of land
          where there was previously a cornfield? No.

          However, sprawl IS when the amount of land consumed
          outpaces the rate of population increase it is being
          built to serve, and is inappropriately located. THAT
          is sprawl.

          The need to convert farmland to housing and commercial
          areas to serve that housing will be ever present
          unless we are prepared to do one or more of the
          following to slow/stop it:
          1. Truly close the borders to immigration.
          2. Limit children to one per family.
          3. Tank the regional economy so that people in other
          parts of the US won't move here for jobs.

          Middletown has been growing, however in recent years,
          it has been measured and well planned. Intelligent
          planning says you build houses in towns where there is
          water and sewer, so lots can be smaller. What we see
          in Middletown does that. The houses on the golf
          course look like they aren't more than 15 feet apart.
          Think of how many acres of land would be consumed in
          the valley if the same number of houses were built on
          large lots with well and septic.

          Middletown is a town...and one that is only 4 miles
          from the second largest city in the State. If
          developers don't build on the edges of cities and
          towns close to cities, where should they?

          Yes, it is unfortunate that the Valley cannot be the
          scene that Harvey Hill viewed in 1862. Regretable,
          but not an offense to the memory of the veterans. We
          cannot put a fence around everything from the
          Susquehanna to the Appomattox and call it a
          battlefield.

          America is ever changing. We must strive to save the
          battlefields and their environs. Antietam must never
          be destroyed by development. The important action
          areas of South Mountain Battlefield should also be
          protected, in as much as possible. But the floor of
          the Middletown Valley, beautiful as it is, really
          shouldn't be viewed as land "lost to the bulldozers".
          Its 10 miles from Antietam, and 4 miles from South
          Mountain.

          APCWS put South Mountain on its second tier endangered
          list. Yes, something should be done to ensure rural
          large lot housing developments don't crop up on the
          eastern face of South Mountain where the battle was
          fought. But..that doesn't extend to the valley floor.

          Again....not arguing with anyone's personal
          views...just offering the rare perspective of a Civil
          War enthusiast and APCWS member who is professionally
          involved in the industry that provides for the very
          necessary housing needs of a rapidly growing nation.

          Regards to all.
          Steve in Middletown



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        • G E Mayers
          Dear Steve, A measured argument. However, one might wish your argument had been around forty years ago when so much more of the CW battlefields were still
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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            Dear Steve,

            A measured argument. However, one might wish your argument had been around
            forty years ago when so much more of the CW battlefields were still largely
            intact. After all, look what happened near Fredericksburg with Salem Church.
            I am sure it was never "intended" for the historic ground around the church
            where so much fighting took place during the closing actions of the Battle
            of Chancellorsville, but it happened!

            Someone once taught me the saying that "A failure to plan means a plan to
            fail." IMHO, this is equally true with regards to preservation of CW
            battlefields.

            Very respectfully,
            G E "Gerry" Mayers
            Confederate Signal Corps,
            Longstreet's Corps



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Stephen Bockmiller" <jeffcowvplanning@...>
            To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 8:33 PM
            Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Urban sprawl in Middletown and environs


            > Let me offer the perspective of a Civil War enthusiast
            > and member of APCWS, who is also a planner employed
            > regulating the land development industry.
            >
            > This is not intended to argue with the statement made
            > by Mr. Shay....just offering analysis from someone who
            > sees both sides of this issue. The issue of sprawl is
            > a highly charged one. I know, as I work for a
            > Planning and Zoning Department in the region.
            >
            > But what is sprawl? I find that term to be overused
            > and used to demonize all development (not implicating
            > Mr. Shay). Is sprawl merely the development of land
            > where there was previously a cornfield? No.
            >
            > However, sprawl IS when the amount of land consumed
            > outpaces the rate of population increase it is being
            > built to serve, and is inappropriately located. THAT
            > is sprawl.
            >
            > The need to convert farmland to housing and commercial
            > areas to serve that housing will be ever present
            > unless we are prepared to do one or more of the
            > following to slow/stop it:
            > 1. Truly close the borders to immigration.
            > 2. Limit children to one per family.
            > 3. Tank the regional economy so that people in other
            > parts of the US won't move here for jobs.
            >
            > Middletown has been growing, however in recent years,
            > it has been measured and well planned. Intelligent
            > planning says you build houses in towns where there is
            > water and sewer, so lots can be smaller. What we see
            > in Middletown does that. The houses on the golf
            > course look like they aren't more than 15 feet apart.
            > Think of how many acres of land would be consumed in
            > the valley if the same number of houses were built on
            > large lots with well and septic.
            >
            > Middletown is a town...and one that is only 4 miles
            > from the second largest city in the State. If
            > developers don't build on the edges of cities and
            > towns close to cities, where should they?
            >
            > Yes, it is unfortunate that the Valley cannot be the
            > scene that Harvey Hill viewed in 1862. Regretable,
            > but not an offense to the memory of the veterans. We
            > cannot put a fence around everything from the
            > Susquehanna to the Appomattox and call it a
            > battlefield.
            >
            > America is ever changing. We must strive to save the
            > battlefields and their environs. Antietam must never
            > be destroyed by development. The important action
            > areas of South Mountain Battlefield should also be
            > protected, in as much as possible. But the floor of
            > the Middletown Valley, beautiful as it is, really
            > shouldn't be viewed as land "lost to the bulldozers".
            > Its 10 miles from Antietam, and 4 miles from South
            > Mountain.
            >
            > APCWS put South Mountain on its second tier endangered
            > list. Yes, something should be done to ensure rural
            > large lot housing developments don't crop up on the
            > eastern face of South Mountain where the battle was
            > fought. But..that doesn't extend to the valley floor.
            >
            > Again....not arguing with anyone's personal
            > views...just offering the rare perspective of a Civil
            > War enthusiast and APCWS member who is professionally
            > involved in the industry that provides for the very
            > necessary housing needs of a rapidly growing nation.
            >
            > Regards to all.
            > Steve in Middletown
            >
            >
            >
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          • jeffcowvplanning
            Gerry... Very true....it is difficult/impossible to fix the bad decisions of 40 years ago....we can only effectively plan now for the future. Places like
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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              Gerry...

              Very true....it is difficult/impossible to fix the bad decisions of 40
              years ago....we can only effectively plan now for the future.

              Places like Antietam and Harpers Ferry must be diligently protected.
              Secondary battles like South Mountain (the battlefield itself) should
              be protected inasmuch as possible. Stopping/lamenting development
              around the town of Middletown because it can be seen in the distance
              from a mountaintop four miles away....sorry...a bit much.

              Regards.
              Steve

              PS...For the record, I can see Turner's and Fox's Gaps from my back
              porch, and my house existed at the time of the battle (with cool story
              relating to Co. K, 1st PA Reserves (Adams County) attached to it.
            • G E Mayers
              Steve, If you can, you should post a picture of your house as it looked at that time and also relate the story. Most interesting indeed. Very respectfully, G E
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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                Steve,

                If you can, you should post a picture of your house as it looked at that
                time and also relate the story.

                Most interesting indeed.

                Very respectfully,
                G E "Gerry" Mayers
                Confederate Signal Corps,
                Longstreet's Corps



                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "jeffcowvplanning" <jeffcowvplanning@...>
                To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 10:18 PM
                Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Urban sprawl in Middletown and environs


                >
                > Gerry...
                >
                > Very true....it is difficult/impossible to fix the bad decisions of 40
                > years ago....we can only effectively plan now for the future.
                >
                > Places like Antietam and Harpers Ferry must be diligently protected.
                > Secondary battles like South Mountain (the battlefield itself) should
                > be protected inasmuch as possible. Stopping/lamenting development
                > around the town of Middletown because it can be seen in the distance
                > from a mountaintop four miles away....sorry...a bit much.
                >
                > Regards.
                > Steve
                >
                > PS...For the record, I can see Turner's and Fox's Gaps from my back
                > porch, and my house existed at the time of the battle (with cool story
                > relating to Co. K, 1st PA Reserves (Adams County) attached to it.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                > ADVERTISEMENT
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                > a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TalkAntietam/
                >
                > b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > TalkAntietam-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                >
                >
              • Stephen Bockmiller
                Gerry.... I ll post the story soon. The house is a bit underwhelming on the outside from the historical perspective...it has been boogered up with vinyl
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 25, 2005
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                  Gerry....

                  I'll post the story soon. The house is a bit
                  underwhelming on the outside from the historical
                  perspective...it has been boogered up with vinyl
                  siding and windows (before I bought it), but does have
                  some neat inside stuff. We exposed a couple of the
                  log walls in the kitchen in 2003.

                  Steve


                  --- G E Mayers <gerry1952@...> wrote:
                  > Steve,
                  >
                  > If you can, you should post a picture of your house
                  > as it looked at that
                  > time and also relate the story.
                  >
                  > Most interesting indeed.
                  >
                  > Very respectfully,
                  > G E "Gerry" Mayers
                  > Confederate Signal Corps,
                  > Longstreet's Corps
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: "jeffcowvplanning"
                  > <jeffcowvplanning@...>
                  > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 10:18 PM
                  > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Urban sprawl in
                  > Middletown and environs
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Gerry...
                  > >
                  > > Very true....it is difficult/impossible to fix the
                  > bad decisions of 40
                  > > years ago....we can only effectively plan now for
                  > the future.
                  > >
                  > > Places like Antietam and Harpers Ferry must be
                  > diligently protected.
                  > > Secondary battles like South Mountain (the
                  > battlefield itself) should
                  > > be protected inasmuch as possible.
                  > Stopping/lamenting development
                  > > around the town of Middletown because it can be
                  > seen in the distance
                  > > from a mountaintop four miles away....sorry...a
                  > bit much.
                  > >
                  > > Regards.
                  > > Steve
                  > >
                  > > PS...For the record, I can see Turner's and Fox's
                  > Gaps from my back
                  > > porch, and my house existed at the time of the
                  > battle (with cool story
                  > > relating to Co. K, 1st PA Reserves (Adams County)
                  > attached to it.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  > > ADVERTISEMENT
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > > a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                  > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TalkAntietam/
                  > >
                  > > b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
                  > to:
                  > > TalkAntietam-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
                  > > c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
                  > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >

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