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Dumfries Considers Removing Tall Building Cap

Could things in Dumfries be looking up, literally?

The Town Council this week discussed option of raising the maximum building height limits to from their current maximum of 55 feet from the ground, or 80 feet with architectural features. Most of
the tallest buildings in town average four floors. Removing the restrictions could clear the way for construction of more hotels and office buildings, a type of construction that is popping up more and more in surrounding Prince William County.

“Lots of buildings are getting new tenants because of their height,” said Dumfries Councilman Charles Brewer. “Our boundaries are very little, and our land is very little, and the only one way we can really show any type of development is by going up.”

Brewer brought up the topic of raising the height limit on buildings but offered no specifics on how high buildings should be, or in what area of the town they should be built in. He was asked to present a more formal plan to the Town Council in March.

Town centers like Potomac Town Center at Stonebridge, where Wegmans grocery store draws thousands and new minor league baseball stadium will be built to house the Potomac Nationals, are gaining in popularity. A town center proposed for Dumfries is under review by the town’s Planning Commission for it’s taller than allowed buildings heights, which have been proposed between four and seven stories tall.

“Many communities are moving to a mixed use type of development and away from strip malls, many of which have become eyesores for communities, and they’re definitely outdated,” said Councilman Derrick Wood.

One of the tallest buildings in the 1.6 square-mile town is the Elwye Center where officials recently permitted a church to open.


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