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Visions of baseball stadium traffic worries Spotsylvania supervisor

COMPLETE COVERAGE: View all related stories and images on the Fredericksburg baseball proposal

Spotsylvania County Supervisor David Ross wants the city of Fredericksburg to be, in his words, “a good neighbor.”

With that in mind, he has asked county staff to draft a resolution expressing concern about traffic from the proposed Minor League Baseball stadium at Celebrate Virginia South in the city.

He intends for the resolution to ask that Fredericksburg officials consider the impacts on Spotsylvania and mitigate them to the “greatest extent possible.”

In addition, he said Spotsylvania should have input on any related decisions by the city.

Ross, who hopes to have the resolution approved later this month by the county board, said numerous constituents who live along Bragg Road and River Road—not far from where Ross himself lives—have told him they are worried about the potential for more traffic.

“Frequently hosting an additional 5,000 people during the baseball season to attend a ball game or rock concert—all getting out at the same time—will, of course, create a huge impact on local (Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County) traffic,” Ross said in an email.

The four-member majority of the Board of Supervisors are political allies of his, so it won’t be surprising if the resolution is approved.

But Fredericksburg City Councilman Matt Kelly said he thinks Ross is blowing the stadium’s impact out of proportion. The major transportation problems in the region are caused by growth in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties—not a proposed stadium in Fredericksburg, he said.

“I think there are bigger issues here that need to be discussed,” Kelly said, noting that the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is the forum for that.

So no, he said, he doesn’t think Fredericksburg will allow Spotsylvania to “dictate any of the terms” for the baseball project.

Kelly has had run-ins with Ross before.

He and some Stafford County supervisors have criticized Ross’ recent proposal for a bypass to relieve congestion on State Route 3, U.S. 17 and Interstate 95.

Ross’ bypass completely avoids Spotsylvania, running from the Centreport Parkway interchange in central Stafford down to U.S. 17, then cutting west through Hartwood into Culpeper and Orange counties, where it would connect to State Route 3 near Wilderness.

That plan—which crosses both the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers—is an alternative to the earlier toll-road proposal, which would have left I–95 at the Virginia Welcome Center, passed through Celebrate Virginia South and connected with Route 3 near Gordon Road in Spotsylvania.

Spotsylvania Supervisor Chairman Paul Trampe said he supports Ross’ call for regional cooperation.

“Members of the City Council have told me a number of times that Spotsy, Stafford and Fredericksburg should work together more, so I’m sure they will want to include us in the discussion concerning traffic effects in Spotsy of the ballpark. That’s all Dave is really asking for,” Trampe said in an email.

Spotsylvania Supervisor Benjamin Pitts, who often disagrees with Ross, said that supervisors should focus more on traffic congestion from the housing developments they have approved in recent months.

Since July, supervisors have approved three separate communities that would add more than 2,500 apartments, town houses and homes to the county. They tabled a decision on Tuesday regarding another development, Heritage Woods, which is proposing to build 1,060 residential units.

Pitts also noted that Spotsylvania never sought Fredericksburg’s input before it approved the Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, which is about 12 miles from the city limits.

“I fully support regional cooperation and realize that such cooperation is a two-way street,” said Pitts, who said he will vote against the resolution if it has a “negative tone.”

“However, I also respect the legal authority of each governing body to make their own decisions.”

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402