The glistening waters of the Occoquan River proved irresistible for Heather Donnelly.
“I lived in Dumphries and I wanted to move,” the Belmont Bay resident said as she and her partner, Herbert Siger, unloaded a cooler from their car in front of the neighborhood marina. “I was just driving around one day and I stumbled on this neighborhood, and I knew, right away, I wanted to live here.”
Donnelly and Siger, who moved to the Woodbridge community four years ago, were taking their neighbors out for a cruise on the Occoquan River aboard their 57-foot Chris-Craft boat, the Chardonnay.
“This is a great neighborhood where everyone is outside walking around, socializing and there is always something, going on,” said Donnelly, who lives in a villa on the neighborhood golf course. “When I first moved here, I rented a villa on the 16th hole. And then I bought a place on the fourth hole and got a boat. I named her after my favorite beverage.”
Outdoor living is the prominent theme in the 325-acre community on the shores of the Occoquan River in Prince William County. While traffic whizzes by on nearby Route 1, the drive down Belmont Bay Drive, the main road into the community, immediately takes the edge off of the daily grind. Single-family homes, town homes and condominiums are arranged in a pedestrian-friendly way with landscaped paths connecting each section. To keep drivers from speeding through the community, the developers built two roundabouts on the street to slow through traffic.
Though more than 3,000 residents have moved into Belmont Bay, the community is still growing, with developers planning a new museum — the Science Museum of Virginia and George Mason University — as well as a hotel and conference center to be built at the town center.
Patsy and Cliff Humphrey moved in 2004 to a spacious condominium in Belmont Bay’s Harbor Point West from a single-family home in Mount Vernon, where they had lived for 25 years and raised their five children.
“Once we were settled, three of our five children followed us, and now we all live within two blocks of each other,” Patsy Humphrey said. “We bought our first boat, went to classes, and now happily navigate and explore the Occoquan and Potomac rivers.”
The Humphreys’ daughter and son-in-law have also discovered golf and enjoy the Thursday night tournaments.
“We wonder why we waited so long [to move here],” Patsy Humphrey said. “Well, because there was not another condo development with condos as spacious and affordable as ours, and it took this long to discover the treasure that is Belmont Bay.”
Donnelly, like the Humphrey family, appears to have found her nirvana.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Donnelly said. “Everything I need is here. There is no reason to go anywhere else.”