The Washington Post

Subdivision plans near Fredericksburg battlefield concern preservationists

Morning light bathes a cannon on Marye's Heights in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Aug. 16. (Matt McClain for The Washington Post)

The Civil War Trust has written to Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw asking her and the city council to oppose a proposed housing development on Lafayette Boulevard across from a principal entrance to the Fredericksburg section of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park at Lee Drive.

In a letter sent this week to Greenlaw, the trust said its greatest concern was not the 29-acre Telegraph Hill residential development as much as the placement of the entrance to it, which would mar the Lee Drive approach to the battlefield and add congestion to a busy street.

A city council hearing on the subject is scheduled for Aug. 28. The local planning commission voted in late July to approve the developer’s plans.

“Lee Drive is no ordinary drive, and the battlefield it traverses no ordinary park,” trust President James Lighthizer wrote in his Aug. 20 letter. “Until and unless a more suitable site for the Telegraph Hill access road can be found, the Trust stands together with the National Park Service and against this ill-advised encroachment on a local and national treasure.”

The National Park Service had opposed the development when it was under discussion by the planning commission, saying it violated the 2009 Lafayette Boulevard Corridor Study prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Commission. The Park Service assisted in that study, which addressed a problem of a rush hour traffic jam that had resulted from allowing too many driveways and intersections on the boulevard.


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