The Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study was commissioned to assess future opportunities to balance preservation and development along Germanna Highway from the Rapidan River to the Wilderness Battlefield in eastern Orange County, Virginia.
The link to the 200 page+ study is at http://telegraph.civilwar.org/aboutus/news/Wilderness-Battlefield-Gateway-Study.pdf
The following points summarize the findings of land analysis and planning with respect to the area between Germanna and the Wilderness Battlefield:
1. Natural and cultural features present are valuable resources that may be leveraged to establish “destination appeal” with proper planning, connectivity, and programming.
2. Future conservation of land should be prioritized by its significance and proximity to natural and cultural features, including but not limited to the Rapidan River, Germanna and Wilderness Battlefield.
3. Planned infrastructure capacity for water and waste water is critical to planning for growth. At present, there is no adopted plan for future infrastructure.
4. Unless future growth is well-planned, sprawling development patterns along Route 3 will increase infrastructure costs, threaten naturally and culturally valuable resources, and forego the opportunity to strengthen the community address of eastern Orange County.
Funded by multiple preservation partners, the study involved discussions with a diverse group of stakeholders, representing both preservation and development interests. The fi ndings of this study and the recommendations presented herein provide:
1. An overview of existing conditions (cultural resources, transportation, economic market, and land use);
2. Opportunities and constraints for development;
3. Evaluation of other successful community benchmarks;
4. Potential scenario development patt erns that balance preservation and development for the gateway project area; and
5. Recommendations and next steps for implementing the desired development patt erns.
The consulting team and participating partners hope that this study provides a foundation to achieve a lasting vision for this significant heritage gateway.
Described by the Orange County Review as a “conversation starter,” this study develops a baseline of research and recommendations to serve as a catalyst for planning the vibrant future of this rich cultural landscape. The record of the study’s findings, opinions, and recommendations are presented for consideration and further study. While these recommendations were assembled by the consultant team, they include consultation and participation from a wide audience of stakeholders including:
Friends of Wilderness Battlefield
Civil War Trust
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (NPS)
American Battlefield Protection Program (a program of the NPS)
Piedmont Environmental Council
National Trust for Historic Preservation
National Parks Conservation Association
Central Virginia Batt lefi elds Trust
Journey through Hallowed Ground
Representatives of Orange County Planning Commission, Board of
Supervisors and staff
Spotsylvania County Planning Staff
Key Property Owners (Orange County)
Lake of the Woods External Aff airs Committee, and
Citizens and local historians (public meeting, web page outreach)