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More planned for Wilderness
Spotsylvania endodontist plans low-profile medical center and nursery on Wilderness-area farmland

 An artist's rendering shows a planned medical center and nursery in the Wilderness area.
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Date published: 1/17/2009


The Wilderness battlefield may gain another new neighbor.

A landowner next to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park proposes to build medical offices and a wholesale nursery on part of his property across from the Civil War-era site of Wilderness Tavern near the Spotsylvania-Orange county line.

Dr. David Pagan, a dental specialist who lives on a 146-acre farm on State Route 3 beside Fox Chase subdivision in western Spotsylvania County, wants to develop part of his land. He envisions a three-suite, 12,000-square-foot medical complex styled after old farm buildings, and a satellite facility for Bennett's Creek Nursery, a large wholesale grower based in Suffolk.

"We're trying to make the farm productive without doing a big project or creating an eyesore," Pagan said in an interview. "We didn't want a subdivision or a strip mall. We're trying to be sensitive in the way this is designed, to fit what the county wants. We don't want to upset the community."

Pagan's farm is on the east side of Wilderness Run, across from the 50-acre site where Wal-Mart proposes to build a retail center anchored by a 138,000-square-foot SuperCenter. The proposal has drawn criticism from preservationists.

Pagan's consultant, E.D. Lewis and Associates of Richmond, designed his proposed development to shield it from the view of Route 3 motorists and Fox Chase homeowners. Careful use of natural topography and tree plantings would screen the office buildings, made to resemble a farmhouse, a cattle barn and a tool shop, from sight, said Gary Lee Scottow, a landscape architect with E.D. Lewis.

The 4-acre office site would be set back from Route 3 behind an earthen berm and trees, and would be at a distance of four football-field lengths from the nearest home in Fox Chase, Scottow said. The growing beds, seasonal hoop houses and office for Bennett's Creek Nursery would occupy about 13 acres behind the medical buildings. In the future, the nursery might expand north onto acreage farther from Route 3.

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