Prince William County planners have moved forward a new vision for an underdeveloped area near Dumfries.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the Triangle Small Area Plan during its meeting Sept. 1.

The plan covers about 376 acres essentially sandwiched between Interstate 95, Dumfries, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fuller Heights Park.

The document would not guarantee any type of development for the area, nor would it change existing zoning. It would serve only as a blueprint for the county’s goals in the area.

The county’s original plan for the area called for offices along U.S. 1 near the Dumfries town limits transitioning into medium-density residential and mixed-use. Farther from U.S. 1, the existing designation is low-density residential followed by open space on the outskirts.

“This area has failed to launch, and it’s left a lot of residents and community members feeling like they’ve been left behind,” said county planner Alex Vanegas.

The new plan would designate the area along U.S. 1 near Dumfries for mixed-use development, transitioning toward some high-density housing. Low-density residential remains the designation away from U.S. 1, while some medium-density and mixed-use areas are pinpointed on the southern end near the Marine Corps base. The plan keeps open space areas along the edges.

Vanegas said the area has easy access to I-95 and will benefit from the widening of U.S. 1. 

Vanegas said the area is a “food and retail desert,” with residents traveling to Dumfries, Stafford or Montclair for essentials. 

The county’s blueprint builds off the town of Dumfries’ plans for Main Street and will encourage development that can benefit from the nearby Marine Corps base. The plan focuses on “developing supplemental residential, retail, and office space” connected to the base, a county staff report says.

Vanegas said the plan will encourage more bike- and pedestrian-friendly development to reduce reliance on cars.

Residential development will focus on compact mixed-use complexes and a diversity of housing types.

The plan next goes to the Board of County Supervisors for final approval.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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