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Comprehensive Plan
New 2015 Comprehensive Plan

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

The Comprehensive Plan is one of the key documents 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.

The final chapter of the Plan identifies land use policies for 10 neighborhood 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 be prepared for each of the planning areas over the next five years.  These area plans will provide specific guidance for the development, redevelopment, and public facilities. 

At the September 8 meeting, City Council approved the initiation of work on two Area Plans for Areas 6 and 3.

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 includes mid-20th century highway commercial uses and structures.   Route 1 is comprised of late 20th century strip 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 two 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.  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 would enhance these residential areas.  The vacant seventy-acre Shannon property in this area provides significant development opportunity.  This area could also be part of a regional node that could be used by rapid transit for long distance commuting.  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 test.

Professional consultants will work with City, starting work in the second quarter of 2016.  The goal is to have documents for formal public hearing before the Planning Commission by the 1st quarter of 2017.