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Comprehensive Plan and Small Area Plans
2015 Comprehensive Plan

On September 8, 2015 the City Council approved the 2015 Comprehensive Plan for the City. 

The Comprehensive Plan is a key document in setting public policy.  The Plan is the principle guide when important land use, transportation, public service, and community facility decisions are made. It is one of the most important public policy guides in Fredericksburg, and should reflect the views of a broad cross-section of Fredericksburg citizens. The Plan reflects discussions and comments by members of the Planning Commission, the City Council, and the many citizens who attended various community meetings.
The 2015 Plan articulates the direction for future strategic actions:
 - what we want to achieve (goals),
 - what is most important (policies), and
 - what we are going to do to achieve that (initiatives).

The 2015 Plan begins by restating the future vision of the City.  Following this is a profile of the community, providing an overview of its character.  The Goals, Policies, and Initiatives of the Plan are then stated.  Sustainability is an overarching theme for this Plan and each of it components. 

The goals of the community for all forms of transportation are stated.  Public services and facilities are identified to promote the highest quality community.  The environmental character of the City is reviewed and the steps to preserve and enhance it are stated.  The options for enhancing business opportunities, both downtown and along the commercial corridors of the City are cited.  Maintaining and enhancing the residential neighborhoods are key to improving the community.  Preserving and protecting the unique historic and cultural elements is also vital to keeping the City's unique character.  The special institutions in the City that make invaluable contributions are described.

Small Area Plans

The final chapter of the Plan identifies land use policies for 10 small area planning areas. AREA PLAN MAP The boundaries include the main commercial street or spine of these communities with the adjoining residential areas, which provides the muscle to tie them together.  Detailed plans will be prepared for each of the planning areas. to provide specific guidance for the development, redevelopment, and public facilities. 

The City hired the consulting firm Streetsense to develop the first two Small Area Plans for Area 6: the Route 1 / Fall Hill / Princess Anne corridors and adjacent neighborhoods between the Rappahannock Canal and River, including Normandy Village, Riverside, Fall Hill and Area 3: the Route 3 corridor between I-95 and Westwood Drive including the neighborhoods of Idlewild, Altoona, and Great Oaks.  These PROPOSED SMALL AREA PLANS were presented to City Council, Planning Commission and the neighborhoods in April 2016 (AREA 6 PRESENTATION and AREA 3 PRESENTATION).  The plans will be subject to further study by these bodies for the next several months.  Planning staff will be developing specific amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council, after public hearings that are anticipated later this summer.  

Area 6 focuses on the portion of the City north of the Rappahannock Canal.  The major street corridors include: Princess Anne Street, Route 1, and Fall Hill Avenue.  Princess Anne Street and Route 1 are comprised of mid-20th century highway commercial uses and structures. Fall Hill Avenue has a mixture of commercial and residential uses.  The mid-20th century neighborhoods of Normandy Village, Old Fairgrounds, and Fall Hill are within this area.  Major institutions include James Monroe High School and the 2300 Fall Hill building (the former Mary Washington Hospital) with medical and other service uses.  This area was a major focus of the JumpStart Report because of the perceived significant underinvestment in the area.  The Report provided multiple examples of the redevelopment potential of the area.  The task of this Area Plan would be to create policies and regulations to turn strip commercial into mixed-use walkable urban places, revitalize one of the most significant gateway corridors into the City, while protecting the integrating of established residential neighborhoods.

Area 3 consists of the Route 3 corridor from I-95 to the east end of commercial activity at Westwood Drive.  This late-20th century commercial strip remains active because of its proximity to I-95 and is a major gateway to the City.  However, several commercial properties are vacant or underutilized.  The adjoining newer neighborhoods of Idlewild and Great Oaks as well as older neighborhoods, such as Altoona, have the benefit from relatively easy access to I-95.  The potential of upgrading the commercial area into mix-use areas would enhance these residential areas. One hundred acres lies on the east side of I-95 between Route 3 and Cowen Boulevard that is mostly vacant. This area provides significant development opportunity as a regional center for office uses with some related retail and residential activity. Creating the tools to encourage a high quality diverse development at a density appropriate to the ready interstate access, but also appropriate to the existing neighborhoods, would be this Area Plan’s Challenge.

Streetsense developed a Market Analysis as part of this Small Area planning process for areas 3 and 6. The intent is to understand how specific parts of Fredericksburg are viewed as places for commercial and residential investment.  The time frame for the Analysis is the next five to ten years.  Residentially, the analysis showed there is demand for townhouses and apartments, particularly for senior residents, and to a lesser extent for single family homes.  Demand for office uses is limited to neighborhood-serving activities and with a long term potential for a major anchor tenants along I-95 in Area 3.  Future growth for hotels is limited to Area 6 for small scale ‘boutique’ operations.  Retail services are generally oversupplied in both areas.  Redevelopment of existing retail space to non-retail uses or the addition of residential, office, or hotel uses would increase the efficiency of remaining retail.  Questions and comments may be forwarded to Planning and Building Director, Charles Johnston, (540) 372-1180  or