James’ Stakes

The Historic Triangle is a rather broad area stretching from Jamestown to both Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. The area itself is about 207 square miles, and has a combined population of about 94,000 people. It’s a somewhat wealthier portion of Virginia, and is a prime area to both live and visit, depending on your preference to tourism or being an actual tourist (“A Statistical…”).

With this large amount of people living in the Tidewater area, there are countless numbers of stakeholders regarding the power lines and the James River. The one that I have elaborated the most upon are the locals and how this will affect both our local economy, and our pride in our historic, centuries-old landmarks. The site of the lines would permanently destroy a beautiful and important part of U.S. history; an area barely touched by industrialization. Other stakeholders include—but are in no means limited to—Dominion itself, tourists, homeowners, and conservationists.

Since I have been paying so much attention to the locals, I would like to bring up Dominion as a stakeholder as well. Being a Business Major, I understand not just the negative attributes this project will have on the area and its economy, but also the potential opportunities. Building the lines, regardless, creates hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs for the community. Any number of employees of Dominion can be affected as to whether or not the lines will be built. The Tidewater region clearly needs the additional power, or it would not be a topic of interest (or conflict).

Another group stakeholders are tourists. I recently visited Jamestown in all its beautiful glory (at least the “free for locals” portion) and found the exact site where the lines would be visible on the James to a visitor:

Photo by Jenny Silva. Taken Sept 22, 2013.

A view so wonderful would indeed be marred by the presence of power lines extending across the river. This image is taken by myself from the end of the dock at Jamestown, where the replicas of The Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed are stored (be on the lookout for more images from my trips to the Historic Areas; they’ll be posted in separate pages as I visit them!). This could potentially decrease the amount of visiting to that particular site, and create a loss of jobs at the historical sites.

In addition to locals, Dominion and tourists, homeowners are affected too. They are closely related to locals to an extent, but I am aiming these stakeholders whom actually own real estate along the river bank. The Williamsburg area has several prime communities to live in, and nearly all of them have waterfront homes along the James. Those who own these homes are primarily adamant against the lines if they could potentially be built within sight of their property, not to mention the extremely large proposed Surry-Skiffes switching station. The lines not only will bring down the values of these homes, but also of the whole area itself.

My final stakeholders would be conservationists. This term can be broadly used to represent both those in historical conservation and also environmental conservation. I assume historical conservation is a bit obvious by now; I’ve heavily based my argument thus far on keeping the Triangle relatively free from the clutches of industrialization. Conservationists of the environmental sort are also affected by these lines. How might the James River itself be disturbed with the building of the lines, were they to be placed either over or under the water? Pollution and the possibilities of natural disasters; how will that effect the area? What portion of land is the Switching station being built on and how will that shake things up in the river and surrounding areas?

Works Cited:

“A Statistical Snapshot of the Historic Triangle.” . York County. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://www.yorkcounty.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2u/fT2Usuhk=&tabid=14237>.

“Locality Profile: Williamsburg City” . Center of Economic and Policy Studies. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://www.coopercenter.org/econ/locality-profile?loc_fips=51830&loc_name=Williamsburg City>.

2 thoughts on “James’ Stakes

  1. Cortney Barden

    You did a good job of defining all of your stakeholders and going into detail about them. I am interested to know how your proposal is going to turn out since, I enjoy going to Williamsburg and Jamestown myself. I liked how you included a picture in your blog, maybe you can include more in the upcoming blogs and even in the areas where they particularly want to put the power lines.

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  2. Alison Tyler

    I like that you definitely included a wide variety of stakeholders. Giving the positive opportunities of the stakeholders shows that you are not being too biased on this situation which is always good. There is still much research to be done but I am looking forward to learn more about the situation and see more pictures. I have not seen my sisters husband, the one who works for Dominion, to ask him about the situation but when I do I will let you know.

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