Redesigned Rivergate Project Approved

Posted by Lori on October 15, 2014 in Occoquan River, Politics, Redevelopment

Proposed Rivergate development to be situated along 14 acres of land along the Occoquan River.

In a 5 to 2 vote, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved a redesigned version of the Rivergate development to be built along 14 acres of land along the Occoquan River. Supervisors Mike May and Frank Principi were not in favor of the development due to the community’s concerns over traffic, overcrowding schools and the thought of having even more apartment buildings along the Rt 1 corridor. The redesigned projected is very different than the 15 story luxury high rises initially approved almost 10 years ago prior to the recession. The Rivergate complex, expected to break ground next year and be completed by 2020, will offer three five story buildings housing 720 units which will be both condos and apartments.

Although we are looking forward to seeing the project complete and the new streetscape leading into Occoquan Harbour Marina and The Landing, we hope this was the right choice for the revitalization and redevelopment the area needs.

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Mayor Earnie Porta Will Not Seek Reelection

Posted by Lou on January 21, 2014 in Politics, Town News

Per Mayor Porta:

With the deadline for filing for town elections approaching in March, I wanted to let everyone know that I will not be seeking a fifth term as Mayor of the Town of Occoquan this May.  After making a careful and realistic assessment of other commitments and obligations, as well as of personal and professional goals, I have concluded that I simply would not be able to devote for another full two-year term the time, effort, and focus that I think the people of Occoquan deserve.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Occoquan’s Mayor over the past eight years, and I am very grateful for the generous support received during that time from residents, businesses, staff, visitors, and the many friends of the town in Prince William County and other areas.  I am proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together.  We have, I believe, provided a solid foundation on which future councils can build.  Over the remaining five months of my term I will do my best to continue to work diligently on Occoquan’s behalf.  Thank you all again for the privilege of serving.

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Prince William County Board of Supervisors OK’s Oaks III

Posted by Lou on January 11, 2012 in Politics, Redevelopment, Town News


Despite strenuous opposition from over 100 Occoquan residents and well-spoken appeals from many, including Mayor Porta and James Phelps, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to rezone Tanyard Hill Road for commercial development.

Specifically, developer Ken Thompson will now be permitted to build a 32,500 square foot office building on an old windy road with dire traffic, drainage and erosion problems. The motion passed 5-3, under the unwavering support of Chairman Corey Stewart.

In favor of rezoning:

– Corey Stewart
– Wally Covington
– Peter Candland
– John Jenkins
– Maureen Caddigan

Opposed to rezoning:

– Michael May
– Martin Nohe
– Frank Principi

It is the official position of the Town of Occoquan and OccoquanWaterfront that the planned commercial development is flawed and will only exacerbate the existing traffic and flooding problems in town. The impact will be most keenly felt in November, 2015 – when the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is up for reelection.

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Mayor Pens Book About Occoquan

Posted by Lou on October 25, 2010 in Civil War, Occoquan River, Politics, Town News

Mayor Earnie Porta has written a 128-page book about the history of Occoquan. The book is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. On the book’s formal release date, November 22, the Prince William Public Library FoundationOccoquan River Communities (ORC), and the Occoquan Historical Society (OHS), will host a book signing and launch party fundraiser at Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All net proceeds from the event, including royalties on books sold, will go to benefit the Library Foundation, ORC, and OHS.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Although Native Americans have lived along the banks of the Occoquan for thousands of years, John Smithwas the first European to visit the area, arriving at the river’s mouth in 1608. Here he encountered the Dogue Indians, from whose language the river and town take their names. With the coming of settlers, Occoquan’s location at the meeting of the Tidewater and Piedmont made it ideal for water-related industry and commerce. By the end of the 18th century, it boasted one of the first automated gristmills in the nation. During the Civil War, Occoquan housed both Union and Confederate troops and was the sight of several small engagements. In 1972, the river, which had provided so many commercial and recreational benefits, revealed a more dangerous side as flooding from Hurricane Agnes caused severe damage. The people of Occoquan rebuilt, and the town evolved into the wonderful mixture of old and new that gives it the unique character seen today.

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Occoquan Election Updates

Posted by Lou on May 5, 2010 in Announcements, Politics, Town News

Congratulations to challengers Liz Quist & Patrick Sivigny for winning seats on the Occoquan Town Council. Once again, congrats to Earnie Porta for being re-elected as Mayor for his third consecutive two-year term. InsideNova has more information about the Occoquan Election Results.

Two very interesting articles about the future development of the Occoquan waterfront region were published last week. The first article, from the Washington Business Journal contains details about the construction of Belmont Bay and the Rivergate. Teaser:

In the past decade Belmont Bay has constructed nearly 1,000 condos and townhouses — all overlook the bay. Just 23 remain unsold. Belmont Bay can build out an additional 873 condos and townhouses, something that Miller predicts will take 10 more years — at least — to complete.

The second article, published in the Washington Post, details a dense development plan to revitalize the north Woodbridge area situated between historic Occoquan and Belmont Bay. It also has some interesting road construction details. Teaser:

The vision for north Woodbridge, an area county officials said extends from the Occoquan River to Occoquan Road and from Route 1 to Horner Road, is to develop up — not out — and to have office and commercial space on one level with residential units above.

The plan calls for 2,500 to 3,500 multifamily units, up to 750,000 square feet of office space, up to 500,000 square feet of retail development and a hotel. The development would be phased in, so residential development does not outpace commercial, county officials said.

Finally, the Town of Occoquan Merchant Association is hosting the Second Annual “Art on The Occoquan” Art Walk this Saturday, May 08, 2010 (4:00 PM-8:00 PM). Enjoy an eclectic showcase of creative, fine arts in various mediums from local artisans. More details

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2010 Town of Occoquan Elections

Posted by Lou on April 5, 2010 in Politics, Town News

Time to vote again! In May 2010 the residents of Occoquan will once again have the opportunity to elect a Mayor and new Town Council. Voting will take place at Town Hall from 6:00am – 7:00pm on Tuesday, May 2. Reminder, you must be registered to vote by April 12 in order to participate.

The big news is that there are more candidates than available seats on the Town Council this year. Here is a look at the slate of candidates:


Earnest W. Porta, Jr.

Town Council (Vote for 5):

Elizabeth A. “Liz” Quist
Ken T. Brunsvold
Denise M. Bush
Patrick A. Sivigny
James N. Walbert
Joao Paul “JP” Cunha

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2010 Occoquan Elections

Posted by Lou on January 29, 2010 in Announcements, Politics, Town News

In 2010 the residents of Occoquan will once again have the opportunity to elect a Mayor and new Town Council. Voting will take place at Town Hall from 6:00am – 7:00pm on Tuesday, May 2. Reminder, you must be registered to vote by April 12 in order to participate.

In 2008, the elections were a bit of a drag because there was only one mayoral candidate and only 5 Town Council candidates (vying for a total of 5 open seats). Out of 593 registered voters, only 131 cast votes (22% turnout). James Walbert was elected to the Town Council with only 90 votes!

If you are interested in running for Town Council, now is your opportunity. You may obtain the necessary filing forms by contacting the Office of General Registrar at (703) 792-6470 or by downloading the forms from the State Board of Elections website.

The current Occoquan Town Council consists of:

  • Mayor Earnest W. Porta, Jr.
  • Vice Mayor Ken Brunsvold
  • Council Member James N. Walbert
  • Council Member Denise M. Bush
  • Council Member Joao Paul “JP” Cunha
  • Council Member Barry G. Dean

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