Fredericksburg City Beat

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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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Civil War Trust sends letter to mayor opposing Telegraph Hill

The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest non-profit battlefield preservation group, sent a letter to Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw Monday in opposition of plans for Telegraph Hill, a 79-home subdivision planned to be constructed off of Lafayette Boulevard.

The entrance into the 29-acre site is almost directly across Lafayette from the southern entrance to Lee Drive and the Civil War park and has generated concerns from several residents and the National Park Service.  It was approved by the Planning Commission in late July but has not been heard by the City Council yet.

“The purpose of this letter is to convey the Trust’s concerns with the current proposal for a new residential subdivision, Telegraph Hill, to be constructed off Lafayette Boulevard in the City of Fredericksburg. Present plans call for the creation of an access road to Telegraph Hill that would intersect with the northern leg of Lee Drive, a principal entryway to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. We believe that building the Telegraph Hill access road at this location would be inconsisten with both the City’s immediate goals as well as its longstanding tradition of thoughtful stewardship,” wrote O. James Lighthizer, president of the organization.

Lighthizer cites the 2009 Lafayette Boulevard Corridor Study prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO), writing that it raised questions about frequent driveways and intersections on a road plagued by peak-hour traffic back-ups.  He continues to cite the study, saying that it recommended consolidating access, fewer driveways and a sensitivity to context.

“The Trust feels that the proposed Telegraph Hill access road runs counter to these recommendations and threatens to these recommendations and threatens to futher congest an area already rated at  a “D” Level-of-Service,” Lighthizer writes.

He also wrotes that the road “would have such a dramatic negative impact on the natural beauty of what is arguably the most striking entrance to the Fredericksburg Battlefield.”

The entrance  to the proposed subdivision has also  generated concern from the National Park Service.

Others have worried about the implications for increased traffic on a stretch of Lafayette that has seen some bad accidents over the years.