Dumfries Mayor Derrick Wood has long said he wants Dumfries to become a destination rather than a pass-through town.
On Tuesday, the Town Council will have an opportunity to solidify that vision with an update to its comprehensive plan that seeks to create an urban village along Main Street, the two-lane thoroughfare that runs in front of the town hall.
Plans to widen a northbound section of Route 1, known in the town as Frayley Boulevard, from two to six lanes, will mean all traffic will use the newly enlarged road section. When the estimated $146-million project is complete, it should ease traffic on Main Street, which today is used by drivers taking Route 1 south.
The town envisions a modern urban village rising along Main Street, with buildings as tall as five stories. Sidewalks will be widened to 12 feet to accommodate more foot traffic, with large planters added.
“Dumfries seeks to become a modern urban village, not a re-creation of a colonial village,” the document states.
Under the plan, two new zoning districts will be created. One R-OMS, residential off Main Street, will keep the existing single-family homes along Cameron, Duke, and Fairfax streets — all part of the town’s original street grid — preserved.
A PMSD designation would be used along Main Street to create a “vibrant urban environment that combines retail, entertainment, residential, and civic functions.
All new buildings in this district would face the street and include churches, libraries, and municipal offices.
Ironically, Dumfries was a colonial port that briefly rivaled New York City. However, silt runoff into the Quantico Creek led to the town’s waters receding, and it’s port days long behind it. Dumfries still is Virginia’s oldest, continuously chartered town.
As for the road widening, the project, still in the design phase, is estimated to take about 60 properties in the town. A date for the start of construction or an estimated project completion date has not been set.