- Prince William County, Virginia
Infobox U.S. County
county = Prince William County
state = Virginia
map size = 225
founded = 1731
seat = Manassas | area_total_sq_mi =348
area percentage = 3.04%
census yr = 2007
pop = 383,644
web = www.pwcgov.org
Prince William County is a county located in the
Washington Metropolitan Area. The estimated population in 2007 of the county was 383,644, a 36.6% increase since 2000. Its county seatis the independent cityof ManassasGR|6. It is part of Northern Virginiaand is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.
Prince William County was created by an act of the General Assembly of the colony of Virginia in 1731, largely from the western section of Stafford County as well as a section of King George County. [cite web
title=Legislation creating Prince William County, Virginia, in 1730
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work=
publisher=Historic Prince William
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] The area encompassed by the Act creating Prince William County originally included all of what later became
Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park (and the various incorporated towns therein). The County was named for Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II.
The County was a rural community for years and the population was centered in two areas, one at Manassas (home to a major railroad junction), the other near Occoquan and Woodbridge along the
Potomac River. Beginning in the late 1930s, a larger suburban population grew up near the existing population centers, particularly in Manassas. The town's post- World War IIgrowth led it to become an independent cityin 1975. Beginning in the late 1960s, the County began transitioning into a bedroom communityof Washington, DCand its population expanded dramatically to the point where, by the end of the 20th century, it was the third most populous local jurisdiction in Virginia. Much of this growth has taken place in the last twenty years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (902 km²), of which 338 square miles (875 km²) is land and 11 square miles (27 km²) (3.04%) is water. It is bounded on the north by Loudoun and Fairfax counties; on the west by Fauquier County; on the south by Stafford County; and on the east by the
Potomac River( Charles County, Marylandlies across the river).
Loudoun County, Virginia- north
Fairfax County, Virginia- northeast
Charles County, Maryland- southeast
Stafford County, Virginia- south
Fauquier County, Virginia- west
Manassas, Virginia- center ( enclave)
Manassas Park, Virginia- center (enclave)
Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Prince William Forest Park
Government and politics
The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Dumfries, Gainesville, Neabsco, Occoquan, and Woodbridge. The magisterial districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Prince William County. There is also a Chairman elected by the county at-large, bringing total Board membership to 8; this may increase after the
2010 censuswhen an eighth magisterial district is likely to be added. A Vice-Chairman is selected by the Board from amongst its membership. The current Chairman is Corey A. Stewart, who previously served as the Occoquan District Supervisor. The current Vice-Chairman is John T. Stirrup, Jr., the Gainesville District Supervisor. The County operates under the county form of the County Executivesystem of government, with an elected Board of Supervisors. The Board then appoints a professional, nonpartisan County Executive to manage government agencies.
Republicans hold six of the eight seats on the Board of Supervisors as well as the offices of County Sheriff and Clerk of the Court. No Democrat has chaired the Board of County Supervisors since
Kathleen Seefeldtleft office in January 2000. Republicans hold all three Congressional seats that include parts of Prince William County and control the five Virginia House of Delegatesseats that include parts of the County. The county's Virginia State Senate seats are split among Democrats and Republicans, with each party controlling two Senate seats, one of which is held by Democratic Sen. Charles Colgan, the President pro temporeof the Senate. In 2005, Democratic Governor Timothy M. Kainewon the County with 49.95% of the vote. In 2006, Democratic U.S. Senator Jim Webbwon with 50.51% of the vote. The Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, Paul Ebert, is also a Democrat.
The County has had several special elections of late. In 2006, the then-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors,
Sean Connaughton, was appointed as head of the U.S. Maritime Administrationby President George W. Bush. A special election to fill the vacancy was called for the same day as the U.S. Senate election between Jim Webb and George F. Allen. Occoquan District Supervisor Stewart won the election and a special election was called for January 2007 to fill the vacancy in the Occoquan District. Mr. Stewart's successor for the Occoquan District was a fellow Republican.
The independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park are surrounded by Prince William County. Prince William, Manassas Park, and Manassas are combined for purposes of criminal, traffic, civil, and juvenile and domestic relations courts within Circuit 31. The Courthouse Complex itself is located in a Prince William County enclave surrounded by the City of Manassas. The County Government Administration Complex is in the unincorporated community of Woodbridge. Its mailing address is 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192.
Other important features
Prince William Forest Park, the second largest National Park Serviceproperty in the Washington, D.C., region
Leesylvania State Park, the ancestral home of the Lee family. The park offers a range of recreational activities and beautiful views of the river.
Marine Corps Base Quantico, a large military installation
Manassas National Battlefield Park, an important Civil War battlefield
Nissan Pavilion, a large concert venue
Potomac Mills, the 10th most popular tourist destination in Virginia and largest outlet mallin the region.
Old Dominion Speedway, A race track in Manassas, VA featuring a 1/8th mile drag strip, and a NASCAR sanctioned 3/8 mile high banked oval track
* [http://www.pwcgov.org/ Official Website of Prince William County Government]
* [http://www.pwcs.edu/ Prince William County Public Schools]
* [http://www.pwcparks.org/ Prince William County Park Authority]
* [http://www.pwcecondev.org/ Prince William County Department of Economic Development]
* [http://www.visitpwc.com/ Prince William County/Manassas Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.prtctransit.org/ Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission]
* [http://www.pwcfair.com/ Prince William County Fairgrounds]
* [http://www.pwcgmcc.org/ Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.regionalchamber.org/ Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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