2015 Comprehensive Plan
On September 8, 2015 the City Council approved the 2015 Comprehensive Plan (PDF) 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. On July 11, 2017, the City Council adopted a new 20-year vision statement, highlighting its goals for the city to:
- be an employment epicenter,
- have effective public services,
- have distinct and linked neighborhoods
- be a place where learning is a way of life,
- be a leader in historic preservation,
- build community through cultural vibrancy,
- have a green and clean environment, and
- implement cutting-edge transportation solutions.
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 its 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.
Also, on July 11, 2017, the City Council amended the business opportunities section to state 10 additional specific goals that echo the concepts in its new vision statement. 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.
On June 27, 2017, the City Council added text to ensure that there would be adequate public facilities, with appropriate levels of service, for new development.
The Council approved amendments on October 24, 2017 to establish the policies for the City's first small area plan. These amendments establish the use of transects to describe future land use patterns, create a general land use plan in Chapter 10 and amend Chapter 11, "Planning Areas," to adopt a new small area plan for Planning Area 3. The plan includes:
- Creating a 55 acre Gateway Work Center as a major employment center (Council Priority 1, Employment);
- Improve traffic flow and safety along Route 3, implementing the VDOT STARS (Strategic Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions) recommendations (Council Priority 18, Transportation Projects);
- Extend Gateway Boulevard from Route 3 to Fall Hill Avenue, with a connection across I-95 to Central Park (Council Priority 18, Transportation Projects);
- Improve walkability with safer Route 3 crossing points, new pedestrian bridges across I-95, and expanded trail system (Council Priority 12, Pathways);
- Evaluate the reuse of the Downman (Idlewild) House as an outdoor event center (Council Priority 5, Culture);
- Name Idlewild property as potential 3rd elementary school site creating design objectives to integrate with the neighborhood (Council Priority 9, School Growth);
- Encourage the Route 3 commercial corridor to redevelop with a mixture of well-designed commercial and residential uses creating a vibrant neighborhood center that will serve as a welcoming and attractive entrance to the City (Council Priority 13, Neighborhood Enhancement and Priority 20, Gateways);
- Encourage best practices in stormwater management for newly developed and redevelopment areas (Council Priority 26, Stormwater);
These amendments will be followed with amendments to the City's land use and form regulations in the Unified Development Ordinance, including a new Public Institution/Open Space Zoning District for public property such as schools and open space (Council Priority 14, update Zoning Ordinance).