Town of Fincastle 'Endangered'
The Roanoke Times today reported on the annual endangered sites list released by the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation. Usually the list highlights natural sites like mountains or historical sites like Explore Park. This year, however, they have included the entire town of Fincastle, Virginia on the list.
Unfortunately, the RVPF may be right about the historic county seat of Botetourt County. The Roanoke sprawl has crept ever so stadily into southern Botetourt County along the I-81 corridor. Uninhibited growth in the county threatens the ability of small towns such as Fincastle to control their borders. On the other hand, efforts by Fincastle to expand its borders have met with stout opposition.
This is certainly not a problem that affects only Fincastle. Small towns all across the Commonwealth are being gobbled up in the name of corporate box-store wastelands (Short Pump, anyone?). At risk are not just large tracts of open land, but many sites of historical and cultural significance to our Commonwealth, such as the Botetourt County Courthouse.
I don't know what the solution to this problem is, but I know that it will take a wide-ranging, serious discussion and a combination of approaches to solve it.