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Fredericksburg City Council approves permit for Braehead Farm
The Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday approved a special-use permit for George and Roxanna Snead to permanently operate a market and seasonal events on the last working farm in the city.
The Sneads requested the special-use permit to sell fresh produce and to have livestock on their 28 acres known as Braehead Farm so they can hold pick-your-own events, host visits from schoolchildren and hold events such as weddings and birthday parties on the site.
The property at 1130 Tyler St. is surrounded by Battlefield Industrial Park and is considered in the industrial zone but its farming operation preceded that designation. Agritourism is allowed there with a special-use permit.
During a public hearing on that request this evening, Councilwoman Kerry Devine and Councilwoman Bea Paolucci noted what a unique opportunity the farm provides city children.
“The Snead family has done a wonderful job throughout the years,” Devine said. “It’s a wonderful way for kids to see a working farm.”
In 1937, the Sneads bought 200 acres that had been part of the historic Braehead property, which fronts Lee Drive within the Fredericksburg National Military Park.
The Sneads originally operated a dairy farm but now raise beef cattle, honey bees, chickens and some crops there.
Last July, the zoning administrator granted a temporary permit for agritourism. That permit was given pending a decision on the special-use permit.
On Tuesday, the council voted 5-0 to approve the permit. Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Councilman George Solley were absent.