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Welcome to Potomac, Va.?

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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