Small Area Plans

Small Area Plans

The City of Fredericksburg consists of 10 small area planning areas (Small Area Plan Map) (PDF). Detailed Small Area Plans are being prepared for each of the planning areas to provide specific guidance for the development, redevelopment, and public facilities. 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.


Area 5 Community Meeting – September 20, 2023 The Planning Department with Rhodeside and Harwell are holding a Community Meeting beginning at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the Chandler Ball Room on the University of Mary Washington campus (1701 College Ave). Small Area Plans set a vision for future land use and capital improvements in different areas of the City. These concepts will be discussed and developed at the community meeting.  What issues and concerns do you have and what opportunities for improvement should we consider? Please join us in the first of three public meetings to develop a Small Area Plan for the City’s Area 5 to share your thoughts.

AREA 10, LAFAYETTE / ROUTE 1 – SOUTH: This area contains two main corridors along Route 1 and Lafayette Boulevard, business Route 1. The Route 1 corridor includes a commercial area of approximately 45 acres, with a variety of office and vehicle sales uses, as well as a recent townhouse project and another 45 acre area for the City’s upper elementary school and middle school. The Lafayette Boulevard corridor is the spine to a stable residential neighborhood with mostly single family dwellings. It has an approximate 15 acre commercially zoned area on Lafayette central to the area. At the southern boundary of the City is a second 4 acre commercial area, with adjoining townhouses, that is part of a core town-like area straddling the border between the City of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County. Rhodeside and Harwell has completed an existing conditions assessment of Area 10 that can be viewed here.  The assessment will be used to create the land use concepts and infrastructure projects that will form the bulk of the Area 10 Plan.

SMALL AREA PLANS MARKET ANALYSIS AND TRANSPORTATION FACTBOOK: The analysis for each of the City’s Small Area Plans begins a Market Analysis. The City’s land use consultant Streetsense presented an updated City wide Market Analysis to the City Council and Planning Commission In December 2018. Here are links to the Analysis (PDF), the Technical Appendix (PDF), and the overview presentation (PDF). The intent is to understand how specific parts of Fredericksburg are viewed as places for commercial and residential investment. This effort also included analyzing the City’s transportation network in terms of capacity and demand. Transportation Factbook (PDF)  


The next phase of the City's Area Plan process includes the following two areas: 

 Area 5, University / Route 1 – Central. The key components of this area are the central portion of Route 1 corridor in the City, the College Heights neighborhood, and the almost 200 acre campus of the University of Mary Washington, with just under 5,000 students. In addition, the university’s development foundation owns about 17 different parcels in the area and either has developed or plans to further develop these properties for the benefit of the university. One of the key issues of this Area Plan will be balancing neighborhood preservation, the growth of the University of Mary Washington community, and the evolution of the ageing commercial uses serving this neighborhood.

Area 8, Mayfield. The uses in this area are very diverse. The residential uses are found in the mostly single-family 100-acre Mayfield neighborhood. In this area there are 75 acres of public land, more than half of which is Dixon Park, a city facility with ball fields and swimming pool. The balance of the public property is a waste water treatment facility that is slated for closure. Over 100 acres in this area are used for industrial purposes and 15 acres are used for commercial activities. The area contains the 30-acre fair grounds, which has been the site since 1950 of the oldest operating agricultural fair in the country, starting in 1738. Finally, on the north of this area is the limited access Route 3 By-pass (Blue Gray Parkway), and on the west is a major switching facility for the CSX Railroad. All these elements create the complexity of impacts to be managed through the creation of a strong vision for the Area during the planning process.


Area 1, Central Park and Celebrate Virginia. The City Council adopted the Area 1 Small Area Plan on January 25, 2022 (adopted Area 1 Small Area Plan (PDF)).  Annexed to the City in 1984, Area 1 contains the 400-acre Central Park one of the first retail power centers on the East Coast. Central Park is approaching its 25-year milestone. The planning process started with public meetings and a five day charrette. Simultaneously, the City Planning and Building Department and a team of land use planning consultants gathered market, infrastructure, and legal data, as well as feedback from the public about their perspectives on downtown  (Value Line Surveys, On-line Survey Results). It is now appropriate to consider the renewal of this area into a livable, robust multi-use area with employment, housing, as well as retail, in a manner that is connected internally and to the rest of the City with complete streets for pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle, and transit uses. This planning area also contains Celebrate Virginia and other large vacant tracts. 

Area 2, Fall Hill Avenue. Fall Hill Avenue serves as the central spine to this Small Area. In 2017, Fall Hill Avenue was reconstructed as a four-lane major collector street with sidewalk and a bike path. The area is home to over 1,000 households and has over 200 acres of open space as well as a mile of Rappahannock River frontage. City Council approved the Small Area Plan for Area 2 on March 9, 2020 (adopted Area 2 Small Area Plan (PDF). Highlights of the plan include a Wild Riverfront Park, redevelopment of the neighborhood center, and improvements to the infrastructure and transportation systems within the area.

Area 3, Plank Road/Rte 3 consists of the Route 3 corridor between I-95 and Westwood Drive including the neighborhoods of Idlewild, Altoona, and Great Oaks. The Small Area Plan for Area 3 was adopted by the City Council on October 24, 2017 (adopted Area 3 Small Area Plan) (PDF) Implementing the Plan includes creation of an employment core between Route 3, Cowan Boulevard and Interstate 95. The recent Veterans Administration Clinic rezoning application approved on 90 acres adjacent to I-95 is an example of how the vision for an employment center translates into zoning changes that provide the legal framework for a new employment center in the City!

Implementing the plan also includes the creation and adoption of a form based code for the Route 3 commercial corridor. The form based code will foster the evolution of automobile oriented strip development into walkable urban development at a density appropriate to the ready interstate access, but also appropriately transitioning to existing neighborhoods. The City Council adopted the changes to the zoning text in January 2019.

Area 6 Princess Anne Street/Rte 1 (North) consists of the Route 1 / Fall Hill / Princess Anne corridors and adjacent neighborhoods between the Rappahannock Canal and River, including Normandy Village, Riverside, and Fall Hill. The City Council approved the Area 6 Small Area Plan (PDF) on January 22, 2019. Highlights of the plan include revitalizing the northern gateway into the City, balancing anticipated growth with preservation of existing neighborhoods, establishing a Creative Maker district to enable the evolution of the Princess Anne Corridor into a vibrant center for production and commercial activity, and addressing transportation, environmental, and open space issues.

Area 7, Downtown. The City of Fredericksburg was established in 1728, the 300th anniversary of which is rapidly approaching. Downtown contains five sub-areas: an approximate 100-acre historic core and four perimeter neighborhoods. The Small Area Plan for Area 7 was adopted by the City Council on September 8, 2020 (adopted Area 7 Small Area Plan (PDF). The planning process started with public meetings and a five day charrette. Simultaneously, the City Planning and Building Department and a team of land use planning consultants gathered market, infrastructure, and legal data, as well as feedback from the public about their perspectives on downtown (value line surveys, placemat surveys, survey results). The data collection and public input led to the completion of Streetsense’s land use report on Area 7, which was transmitted to the Planning Commission and City Council (Area 7 Report).  


Area 4, Hospital and Cowan Boulevard. The approximate 75-acre Mary Washington Hospital campus is a key institutional partner with the City. City policies and development standards should sustain this institution so that it continues to be a resource and benefit for City residents. The residential portions are comprised of high-quality recent development, with the exception of two older multi-family projects in need of modernization. A four-lane controlled access major collector, Gateway Boulevard, is planned through the western portion of the residential area and is key to creating a network of streets.

Area 9, Braehead / National Park. This area includes over 350 acres of industrial zoning, most of which is in the Battlefield Industrial Park. On the west side of the industrial park is almost 65 acres, owned by the National Park Service that are a component of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Between National Park property and the industrial park is a 19 acre parcel containing the 1859 Braehead House, a site of Civil War activities. On the northwest side of the area is a 20-acre redevelopment of a property, fronting on Lafayette Boulevard, which contained heaving commercial and quarry activities and is now proposed for a mixed-use project with 430 dwellings (single family, townhouses, and multifamily units) and up to 350,000 square feet of commercial space. The Blue Gray Parkway (Route 3 by-pass) lies on the north side of the industrial area and CSX railroad tracks are on the east side. One of the key issues of this Area Plan will be the future of the industrial park and the character of the significant business activity in this Area.

Please send any questions or comments to Principal Planner, Mike Craig, (540) 372-1179 or email Mike here.