Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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No hearing on CVHC project

There won’t be a public hearing tonight on the Central Virginia Housing Coalition’s petition for a special use permit to redevelop the apartment building at 200-202 Charles St. CVHC is proposing to tear down part of the 16-unit apartment building at that address now and construct a three-story, 14-unit apartment building. The housing group needs two special use permits to do this. One would allow it to build in the flood plain. The other would allow it to build a free-standing sign on the property.

The hearing has been cancelled because Downtown Greens has filed an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding the project. Downtown Greens is challenging Planning Director Ray Ocel’s opinion that the redeveloped apartment building would still qualify as a nonconforming use in the commercial-transitional zoning district it’s in. They think CVHC should have to come to the BZA for variances in order to construct the project. They’re also worried about the new building’s affect on a sycamore tree on property the garden group owns. Here’s a paragraph out of Downtown Greens’ appeal letter that pretty much sums up their position:

“We request that you overturn the decision of the zoning administrator that the proposed redevelopment is an allowed nonconforming use. In the event the applicant seeks the several variances required to continue, we ask that you consider the health of the sycamore highly among other needs of the community. … At 13 ft circumference, 148 ft height, and excellent health, this sycamore is well worth preserving.”

If you were planning to weigh in on this matter tonight, you’re probably better off going to the June 18 BZA meeting.