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Welcome to Potomac, Va.?

By Potomac Local News March 15, 2013 10:30 am

16 Comments

The construction entrance of the new Potomac Shores neighborhood in Prince William County, near Dumfries. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

The construction entrance of the new Potomac Shores neighborhood in Prince William County, near Dumfries. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

DUMFRIES, Va. – And you thought there was no such place as Potomac, Va.? Well, think again.

A new effort underway by Prince William Potomac District (formerly Dumfries District) Supervisor Maureen Caddigan could mean the areas around the Town of Dumrfries, like the adjoining Southbridge and Triangle neighborhoods, could be called Potomac, Va.

Caddigan this month said she’s working with Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William, for congressional approval for the name change. It comes as a new development, Potomac Shores, is being built on 2,000 acres of land behind Southbridge along the Potomac River. The new neighborhood will boast 4,000 new homes, three million square feet of office space, and there’s hopes for a new hotel and commuter rail station. Owned by California developer SunCal, once it’s built there will be a need to market the neighborhood.

“The developer wanted the area to be known as Potomac Shores, Va., but considering the history of the area, I didn’t think that would be the best plan,” said Caddigan. “So we opted for the name Potomac.”

If it’s approved, those who live in zip code 22026 and outside the Town of Dumfries and Town of Quantico would live in Potomac, Va. The new area would also be located about 45 miles from Potomac, Md.

More to the Story: Residents in the following zip codes would have the option of claiming Potomac, Va. as their residence under the plan, which would need approval from the U.S. Postal Service:

22026 (excludes Dumfries)

22172 Triangle

22025 Montclair

20112 Ashland

The move would further solidify a name change approved by the County Board of Supervisors in 2011 effectively changing the Dumfries Magisterial District to the Potomac District. Caddigan said the change removed confusion for many people who lived in the district, which is solely in Prince William County, but would call or go to Dumfries Town Hall for government services.

Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood has been clear about his dislike of the name change, noting the magisterial district should still be named after Virginia’s oldest continuously chartered town. Caddigan said calling the area Potomac, Va. Is ideal because the area sits along the Potomac River, and would help the image of Dumfries.

“At first I thought about and thought the name would snub the town, because [SunCal] didn’t know the history of [Dumfries], but I think the name change gives Dumfries independence and allows you to continue with your marketing of being Virginia’s oldest continuously chartered town…that’s branding right there,” said Caddigan.

Construction of the Potomac Shores neighborhood is already underway, and developers think it would be a ripe location for a new FBI Headquarters, as the agency is looking to leave Washington, D.C. and it’s J. Edgar Hoover office building.

Both Prince William County officials and SunCal submitted a proposal to the FBI naming Potomac Shores as an ideal location for a new FBI headquarters.

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  • J. Money

    Potomac, Va? Isn’t Triangle, Viriginias oldest city? Why take that history from us? Next they’ll be wanting to shut down Weems Botts. Its bad enough they have to cut down all the trees and build unnecessary business to bring in revenue, and now they want to take the name away that holds so much great history for many of us. I was born and raised in the Triangle area, and I dread driving through the area because there isn’t much history left. How dare they think, because of revenue, that they can change the history that our brave country fought so hard for.

  • hello dare

    J. Money, have you ever heard of Jamestown, VA? What revisionist history are you making up? triangle is va’s oldest city? please!

  • Jim Riley

    This doesn’t take Congressional or local approval. It is a simple matter of dealing with the Post Office. The Southbridge HOA got the post office to recognize its portion of the 22026 zip code as Southbridge, VA years ago.

  • Bedetermine

    @J. Money. Ummm first off, this entire area is not exactly Triangle only. Secondly, for someone that was born and raised in Triangle VA, you sure do not know the history of your own state. Most of the cities south of here (Roanake, Hampton Roads area) are older than Triangle. Jamestown is know to be the oldest occupied city in VA and second oldest in the world. Not sure where you got your “facts” from.

  • Woodbridge Resident

    Potomac, Va already exists. Just plug it into Google. It is a part of Alexandria. What is wrong with saying “Woodbridge is nice now” instead of “This isn’t Woodbridge, this is Potomac.” The new developements are going to have the same character and success as a part of Woodbridge and Triangle as they would without a name change. Trying to seperate the upscale peices of eastern Prince William for marketing purposes is an insult to the people that already live here. After all of the hard work to attract these upscale developements, we would be robbed of being able to say “Look at the positive changes in Woodbridge and Dumfries.”

  • Steve Palincsar

    You can read about Potomac, VA in the Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potomac,_Virginia
    It was incorporated in 1908, and annexed by the city of Alexandria in 1930.

  • http://www.bvbl.net/ Greg Letiecq

    Good Golly. It took a LONG time for the Dumfries magisterial district to be renamed “Potomac” because of all the confusion between living in the town of Dumfries and living in the Dumfries district. Now we’re seriously going to name a town in the Potomac district “Potomac, Virginia” and invite precisely the same confusion we spent a fair amount of taxpayer dollars trying to correct. “NO, I live in Dumfries, NOT Potomac, so my voter registration is wrong!” Brilliant. Maureen Caddigan’s senses must be on a permanent vacation.

    Jim Riley helped eliminate the confusion with the name change for the District, Caddigan ignored it and then tried to take credit for it after the fact. Now Caddigan is proposing we walk right back into the same mess after what, two whole years after fixing it?

    • Joe White

      Greg,

      No one cares about your stupid opinions. Keep your red neck opinions for your western end.

  • TB

    What a stupid plan/sugggestion.

  • http://www.alborn.net Al Alborn

    Sorry… I’m with Ms. Caddigan on this one. I have a Manassas address… and (no disrespect to my many friends who live in Manassas) I don’t like it (because I don’t live in Manassas).

    Apparently, some folks who actually live in Manassas don’t like the fact that folks who don’t live their claim it as their home. I get that. It turns out that it is quite possible to do what Ms. Caddigan and several folks who live in her District want to do. If that’s what they want to do, why should anyone else care?

    I would prefer that my mail simply be delivered to Prince William County, VA, instead of Manassas. I am proud to live in Prince William County, and prefer to self-identify as such. I notice that Chairman Stewart already does that for his official office address. His address is:

    1 County Complex Court
    Prince William VA 22192

    That’s what I want… Prince William VA.

    This is on my “don’t care what other folks do” list. In this particular case, I hope she succeeds because i’d like to be next.

    • JC

      I guess when that address was picked some time ago they didn’t want to offend the folks in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge or Dale City.

  • JC

    Why do politicians have to mess w/stuff that doesn’t need fixed? No name change! If the board ? etc. is that ashamed of Dumfries/Woodbridge names just rename the whole county. As for the board address I guess they are ashamed to say they are in Woodbridge. Not Lake Ridge, Dale City, Montclair….

  • LMAO

    Actually, it’s Dumfries, not Triangle or Jamestown that is Virginia’s oldest continuously chartered town.

  • Ellen

    I for one do not want this change, why should a California firm decide what we call our home and neighborhoods. They have the right to call their sub-division what ever they want by I live in Triangle no matter how much they tried to destroy my town. Taking out all of the business and costing Prince William money in tax revenue, since a lot of us now shop and eat in Stafford, they should not try to make it up by changing our name.

  • Leland

    Hey, I live in Potomac, Va (look up area code 22301). We have the Town of Potomac Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, Potomac post office, and assorted local references.

    Get your own name. Don’t take ours.

  • Corey

    When it comes down to it, it’s about branding and marketing. When you hear Potomac MD, you immediately associate that to Dan Snyder (owner of the Redskins) and the like…$$$$. If you’re going to have Million dollar homes, you may not want it associated with “Dum Fries” as my co-worker calls it. I get it! Yet I respect the views of those who will fight the change, b/c of the class system that this perpetuates. It’s kinda like the “Montclair” area…which is now OLD News! In the grand scheme of things, “Potomac” Virginia, will sound great, but I’d have to admit, that I’m sure people will say “where’s that” for quite some time. However, if construction and development goes as planned, it won’t be long before everyone is familiar with it. ~just my 1 1/2 cents!