Dumfries developer William Ausley, who last week dramatically withdrew plans for the largest housing subdivison ever proposed for the small Prince William County town, said this week that he probably will keep open his options to purchase the 83-acre property along I-95, and expects to propose some type of housing development on it in the fall of 1984.

Ausley, who owns a Volkswagen-Jaguar auto dealership in Triangle, said that he withdrew his project "gracefully and with a poem" as the town council was about to consider it at a public meeting, because it had generated controversy and was being delayed by town officials.

He had withdrawn his original proposal, for 498 town houses that would have increased the 3,300-population of the town by 25 percent, and proposed instead about 300 town houses and single-family homes on 38-acres.

Ausley had insisted at previous hearings that the expensive town houses in his $40 million "dream project" would be "the nicest homes in Prince William County."

But a number of residents opposed any additional town houses in Dumfries, claiming that existing town house projects, all rental units, had increased crime in the community.

Under zoning regulations, Ausley cannot resubmit a development proposal for one year after withdrawing one.