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Builders plan to proceed with W.Va. development

November 18, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- An attorney representing developers of a housing project slated for the area where the 1862 Civil War Battle of Shepherdstown was staged would not comment Tuesday on any suggestion of selling the property and instead said the builders plan to proceed with the development.

"This is a really nice development," Berkeley Springs, W.Va., attorney Nathan Cochran said. "It's first class."

Cochran also said that the 152-home development on 122 acres being proposed by Maryland-based Far Away Farm LLC was a considerable distance from the actual Battle of Shepherdstown.

Cochran sidestepped any notion of selling the property after an organization that has been trying to save the battlefield -- Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association -- lost its bid to appeal a decision allowing the development to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appeal of a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision was deemed dead after the high court refused to hear the case last week.

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Ed Dunleavy, president of the organization, mentioned Tuesday the possibility of the owners of the property selling the site given the slowdown in the real estate market.

Dunleavy said his group will continue to work on possibly saving the site, including working with U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd's office on possible legislation that would make the site part of Antietam National Battlefield or Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) National Historical Park.

Dunleavy said any acquisition of land to preserve the site would be dependent on a "willing seller."

The nearby Civil War battle was a significant factor in Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's decision to retreat deeper into the Shenandoah Valley, and about 130 soldiers died when Northern and Southern troops clashed there, history experts said.

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