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Small Area Plans
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).  On October 24, the City Council adopted amendments to the Comprehensive Plan establishing polices for Area 3.  Council will be discussing specific text Unified Development Ordinance amendments to implement the Area 3 policies on December 12, 2017.  Planning staff is developing specific amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations for Area 6.  These will be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council, after public hearings in the first quarter of 2018. 

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.

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.

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