Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

RSS feed of this blog

Civil War Trust fights subdivision opposite national park entrance

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

This plaque, embedded in a boulder at the entrance to Lee Drive off Lafayette Boulevard, commemorates

President Calvin Coolidge’s dedication of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in 1928. (THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

America’s biggest nonprofit battlefield preservation group is worried about what a proposed subdivision will do to the original entrance of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

In a letter Monday to Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, the Civil War Trust expressed its concerns over Telegraph Hill, a 79-home development proposed on 29 acres opposite Lee Drive.

“We believe that building the Telegraph Hill access road at this location would be inconsisten with both the City’s immediate goals as well as its longstanding tradition of thoughtful stewardship,” trust President O. James Lighthizer wrote Greenlaw.

Read more in Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky’s post here.

Read all of Lighthizer’s letter here.

The National Park Service opposes the subdivision as currently proposed, saying that its entrance road would worsen traffic congestion at Lee Drive and Lafayette Boulevard, an already congested area rated “D” in functionality by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Lee Drive, the first tour road in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park, opened to the public in November 1931. (THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

The Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization questioned the wisdom of adding more intersections to Lafayette, plagued by “peak-hour traffic back-ups,” in its 2009 Lafayette Boulevard Corridor Study.

The Telegraph Hill development was recommended by the city Planning Commission late last month.

The City Council is scheduled to hear public comment on the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28.