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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City Council appoints two new planning commissioners

The City Council appointed two new members to the Planning Commission Tuesday night.

Richard Friesner will fill the seat of Susan Spears, who is leaving at the end of her term.

Friesner, who also serves on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, is a program director at George Mason University for the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment.

In his application, he writes the following about why he sought the appointment:

“My training and experience in environmental engineering, active involvement in the City of Fredericksburg, and interest in the future development of the city make me an excellent candidate to the Planning Commission. From my work on the BZA I have reviewed the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Fredericksburg Watershed Property Management Plan, and the Unified Development Ordinance. I have previously attended several Planning Commission meetings and feel that my skill set could be put to good use as a member of the commission. Also, my understanding is that one member of the BZA can be on the Planning Commission and currently no members of the BZA are.”

Planning Commissioner Shawn Lawrence recently resigned, but has one year left on his term. The council appointed James Beavers to fill his seat.

Beavers served on the planning commission in the past. He recently retired, but was a Risk Analyst for Housing and Urban Development.

In his application, he writes the following about why he sought the appointment:

“I worked, many years ago, for the Portage County (Ohio) Community Development Office where we collaborated with the Planning Commission on economic development issues, zoning enforcement, etc., so I bring such experience with me. I have worked for HUD the last 30 years mostly in the Federal Housing Administration single family programs, often working with local housing finance agencies in providing affordable housing. And finally, having served previously, during much of the Central Park approval process, I would like to be engaged again in reviewing special use permits, subdivision requests, etc., and any updates to the comprehensive plan.”

Planning Commissioners Roy McAfee and Ed Whelan were also reappointed to new terms on the commission.

In February, the City Council appointed JoAnne Kaiman to fill Ricardo Rigual’s seat when he left the commission and became a judge for the General District Court.