Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
What’s in a Name?
One of the proposed Urban Development Areas in Stafford is on the Widewater peninsula – a beautiful area on Aquia Creek and the Potomac River in the northeast corner of the county. While the area is commonly known as “Widewater,” the name of the proposed UDA is “Stafford Station” on official county documents.
Planning Commissioner Cecilia Kirkman made a motion at last night’s Planning Commission meeting to change the name from “Stafford Station” to “Widewater” in the proposed Comprehensive Plan. Her motion was defeated 4-1. Kirkman voted in favor, Pete Fields and Mike Rhodes were absent.
Kirkman feels the name is misleading. Widewater has long been a target for development and a cause for preservationists, but she feels people might not understand the location of the proposed high-density development if it is called “Stafford Station.” She also finds it confusing–a large development once proposed for the center of the county was known as “Stafford Town Station.”
Supervisors Bob Woodson and Harry Crisp–both Democrats–have expressed similar concerns about the name.
So far, it seems like everyone else (Republicans) supports the name, and it looks like it will stick. I have not discovered where the name came from or who first proposed it.
“It’s in Stafford County and it’s at a new rail station,” Planning Commissioner Scott Hirons explained during last night’s meeting.
Both existing Virginia Railway Express stations in Stafford are named after their geographical locations – Leeland and Brooke. As of now, VRE is near capacity and has no plans to build a new station in Stafford.
“I understand Miss Kirkman’s point,” Planning Commissioner Gordon Howard said. “I’m not inclined to vote to support the motion. It could be the premiere station on the VRE. I like the name Stafford Station.”