Developer Gives 10 Battle Acres In
Fredericksburg To Battlefields Trust
By Scott C. Boyd
(June 2011 Civil War News)
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — A local developer has donated 10.34 acres of core Battle of Fredericksburg land to the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT).
Lafayette Crossing Holdings LLC of Fredericksburg donated the land to CVBT on Feb. 11, according to real estate records. The land was assessed at $118,000. It was land with approved zoning for a 100-unit assisted living facility (unbuilt) within the Lafayette Crossing development, according to managing member Lee Garrison.
CVBT calls the tract “Deep Run” after the creek that runs through it. It is behind the Confederate front lines and within the battlefield’s “core area” as defined by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission.
CVBT Executive Director Jerry Brent said the land being core battle ground is only one reason its acquisition benefits historic preservation.
He said there is local historical significance, because the 30th Virginia Infantry Regiment, a unit raised locally, was stationed on or near the property; the National Park Service (NPS) holdings nearby are “pretty thin”; the property provides a “nice buffer against future development”; and, the price was right.
Brent said his group worked with Garrison before, when he was with area builder Tricord Homes, which donated 140 acres at Chancellorsville and helped with the purchase of the 205-acre Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg.
“He’s a local guy, he’s been in the area for a long time,” Brent said of Garrison. “He wants to do the right thing. He has a sense of community and he wants to help out in the preservation effort.”
Brent said, “It makes it a whole lot easier when you’re dealing with people like that.”
“I’ve worked with the Civil War Trust and CVBT in the past,” Garrison said, noting that he enjoyed working with them. “They’re good organizations. I feel there’s a need to balance development and preservation in the area.”
The Deep Run land abuts NPS property, but is not within the Congressionally-established park boundary. That means the NPS cannot buy or receive the land as a donation.
Instead of requiring full Congressional legislation to change the park boundary, Brent said the new acreage is small enough to meet the criteria for a “minor boundary adjustment,” which can be done through the general management plan (GMP) review process.
That GMP review for the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park is under way, according to Superintendent Russ Smith. He said through that process the NPS might be able to acquire the land, but “we’re a bit behind where we’d like to be.”
He said he hopes to hold more public meetings on the GMP in the next few months.
For now, the land is open to the public only by special request to the CVBT. “We’re flexible enough that if a group or someone wants to see our properties, we can certainly get them out there,” Brent said.
No signage is currently planned.
“We’d like to be able to do more deals like this because obviously we don’t have to take money out of our coffers for the acquisition,” Brent said. “An action like this enables us to channel our members’ donations to other properties.”
“Anytime you can pick up something for nothing, that’s obviously the way to do it,” he said. “It doesn’t happen often, but when you can, you jump on it.”
For information about the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust go to www.cvbt.org