The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Fredericksburg considers traffic circle on Lafayette Boulevard
Fredericksburg will be on its way to getting a roundabout on Lafayette Boulevard if City Council grants a rezoning request for the Telegraph Hill development on Tuesday.
The council is expected to approve a request to rezone nearly 22 acres along Lafayette across from Lee Drive, the entrance to the Fredericksburg battlefield. The zoning would change from light industrial, general industrial and residential to planned mixed-use development.
That would enable Fredericksburg LLC to combine that property with an adjoining 24 acres to create Telegraph Hill, a town-center-style development that would include commercial, retail and residential units.
Fredericksburg Park LLC is a group of investors led by managing member David Horstick.
The property to be rezoned sits across Lafayette Boulevard from Lee Drive, which is the entrance to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Initially, a stop signal was proposed there to serve the new street that will be the entrance to the development.
Instead, if the rezoning is approved, the developers will build a traffic roundabout at that location, which was viewed as a safer alternative and also serve as an entrance to the National Park Service historic site.
The developer also will expand Lafayette Boulevard to four lanes along the length of the project.
The council approval is the last formal action needed before the roundabout becomes a certainty, Public Works Director Doug Fawcett said Friday. The next step will be for the developer’s engineers to submit a design for city staff to review.
Roundabouts or traffic circles are in use elsewhere locally, but Fawcett could think of none nearby that are built on a slope such as at Lafayette Boulevard at Lee Drive.
“We will be very interested to see how they address that issue,” Fawcett said.
As they build, Telegraph Hill’s developers will be required to protect the battlefield lines of sight and cannot build any structure taller than four stories.
Telegraph Hill would stretch from south of Lee Drive to Alum Spring Drive.
The 24 acres, which are zoned residential, have already been subdivided into 79 single-family lots and have approval to go forward.
The 22 acres to be rezoned would have a maximum of 350 residential units—none of which will be single-family—and a maximum of 350,000 square feet of commercial space, according to city documents.
On Oct. 30, the Planning Commission voted 6–1 to recommend approval of the rezoning.
Four people spoke at the commission’s public hearing. Two spoke at the council’s hearing on Nov. 26.
None of them opposed the rezoning. However, concerns were raised about safety of the roundabout.
A preliminary study presented in September suggested peak-hour traffic would move through the intersection faster with a roundabout than a stop light.
Also on Tuesday, City Council will hold six public hearings including a request from Lincoln Terminal Co. to convert the Quarles Petroleum site into a storage and distribution facility for gas, biodiesel and ethanol.
Quarles Petroleum currently operates a propane distribution facility on 10.2 acres at 1500 Beulah Salisbury Road off Dixon Street.
If the council approves an amendment to a special-use permit, Quarles would sell the property to Lincoln Terminal and move its operation across the street to the 2.47-acre site where Service Tire Truck Center now operates. That property is in neighboring Spotsylvania County.
The Planning Commission voted in support of the amendment at its Dec. 11 meeting. It had initially delayed action to allow residents of the Mayfield community to have their concerns addressed.
After representatives from Quarles and Lincoln Terminal attended a Mayfield Civic Association meeting in November, residents were satisfied with the proposal and safeguards in place.
The site is along the Rappahannock River beside Dixon Park and across the street from Mayfield.
Lincoln Terminal, owned by Lincoln Energy Solutions Inc. of Greenville, S.C., plans to invest $7 million to convert the Quarles site, including installing six additional tanks and adding landscaping.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
Fredericksburg City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers of City Hall, 715 Princess Anne St.