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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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A.P. Hill commander expresses concern over resort, mining plans

A rendering of the lodge that the Silver Cos. wants to build off U.S. 17 in Caroline County for corporate retreats and other special events. Click for a larger view.

The commander of Fort A.P. Hill has expressed concern with a developer’s plan to build a small resort, and mine for sand and gravel on a 1,209-acre parcel near the military training installation.

Larry Silver’s land off U.S. 17 in Caroline County is in “very close proximity to important training facilities” at the installation, A.P. Hill Commander Lt. Col. Peter E. Dargle wrote in a letter to Caroline Planning Director Mike Finchum dated Jan. 9. Dargle’s letter expresses concern that the proposed resort and mining operation could lead to increased traffic and noise, lighting that could interfere with night-vision training and security issues. He also points out that the land is in a Resource Sensitive Area.

Dargle urges the county not to make any “hasty” changes to its zoning ordinances that could allow the proposed facility. He writes that doing so could be a “recipe for undesired conflict in the months and years ahead.”

Silver is president and CEO of the Silver Cos., which proposes to build a 12-room lodge with a dining area, conference and meeting spaces, and other amenities on the land near Moss Neck Manor. Additional cottages could be built to provide more lodging. Silver officials envision that the facility could be used for corporate retreats and other special events for up to about 40 people. There would be recreational activities including hunting and clay pigeon shooting, as well as fishing, canoeing and swimming on a lake that is part of the property.

The Silver Cos. is also working on a separate application to allow Waldorf, Md.-based Chaney Enterprises to mine sand and gravel on a portion of the property near U.S. 17. The mining would ultimately create reclamation lakes that could be incorporated into the water recreational activities offered at the lodge.

Jud Honaker, who is president of commercial development for the Silver Cos., said in an email that he will meet with A.P. Hill officials to better inform them of what is planned on the property. He said the company’s plans would not interfere with A.P. Hill’s activities, so the installation should not be concerned.