The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Fredericksburg’s growth rate leads the state
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Fredericksburg was the fastest-growing locality in the state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, according to the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
The city grew by 4.9 percent, or 1,198 people, during that period.
That brought the city’s population to 25,484, according to the report.
Although the city had the highest percentage growth in the state, other Fredericksburg-area localities grew as well.
Spotsylvania County grew by 1,600 people, or 1.3 percent, and Stafford County grew by 2,106 people, 1.6 percent, during the same period.
Of the 35 localities in the state that lost population, the only one in the Fredericksburg region was King George County. The county lost 251 people, or about 1.1 percent.
Westmoreland County stayed about the same.
The state’s total population grew by 1.2 percent, to 8.1 million residents, according to the center’s estimates.
Virginia posted the 13th-highest growth rate and had the seventh-largest numerical population gain.
Fredericksburg City Manager Beverly Cameron said he doesn’t see the population growth as a positive or negative thing for the city.
“I think it’s consistent but it is an estimate, and only time will tell how accurate it is,” he said.
The growth can be attributed to several projects that took place over the time period when the data were collected.
In August 2010, the University of Mary Washington opened the Eagle Landing apartment complex on U.S. 1, part of the Eagle Village shopping center.
The complex houses 624 students, four to each of the 156 apartments.
Seasons, which was formerly called The Haven, is a new apartment complex near Wegmans and Central Park, and opened in July 2011.
It has 232 units with one or two bedrooms each. A second phase with 250 units is being planned across the street from the first one.
Marne Sherman, the community development planner for the city, said that there has been growth in several areas of the city, in neighborhoods such as Idlewild, Riverwalk, Cowan Boulevard and Seasons.
She also said that there are more rentals in the city, and it’s likely that many city residents are doubling up in rentals and other housing.
With a population increase comes an increase in school enrollment as well.
In the 2010–11 school year, there were 3,220 students enrolled in Fredericksburg public schools.
That’s 225 more students than were enrolled in the 2009–10 school year.
The city’s population growth between 2000 and 2010 was evident in the city’s redistricting process.
Ward 1, which consists of most of the city’s land west of U.S. 1, had the most population growth over the 10 years. Its population grew to just over 8,319 residents, according to the 2010 Census.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413