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Town Will Despoil Valley Forge,|National Parks Group Claims

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - Lower Providence Township plans to despoil Valley Forge National Historical Park by approving "an extensive and intrusive commercial development," the National Parks Conservation Association claims in Federal Court. The town approved an ordinance allowing a conference center, retail shops, restaurants, a hotel and "an enormous parking lot," with shuttle buses, to be built on a privately owned 78-acre parcel inside the park where Gen. George Washington rallied the desperate rebel army during the winter of 1777-78.

The township approved the ordinance despite "the vigorous objection of the National Park Service's Superintendent of Valley Forge," the complaint states.

Plaintiffs say the township's plans will despoil a national historic treasure and are pre-empted by federal law.

They are represented by James Greenfield of Radnor, Pa.

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