Data Centers Don't Belong Beside National Parks!
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021 the Prince William Board of Supervisors will consider the initiation of a Zoning Text Amendment to the Data Center Overlay Opportunity District. They have indicated that the changes being considered include allowing an 800 acre data center campus along Pageland Lane, between Conway Robinson State Forest and the Manassas National Battlefield Park.
This proposal comes on the heels of a decision to allow construction of data centers on another parcel located within the Congressional boundary of Prince William Forest (National) Park.
In addition to the fact that these changes represent an intrusion into the rural crescent, we're very concerned about the County encouraging intense development such as data centers next to the region's State and National Parks.
Please share your concerns with the County Supervisors prior to May 18, 2021 by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel a sense of deja vu, that's because Supervisors voted just two months ago to approve a plan that would allow for a datacenter to be developed right next to Prince William Forest (National) Park. Allowing data centers in these areas is unnecessary and would cause significant harm to these valuable national public resources.
There are currently about 9,500 acres in the Data Center Overlay Opportunity District. Of this, we estimate there are about 3,000 acres of undeveloped land. This does not include the thousands of additional acres that present great opportunities for redevelopment.
For context Loudoun County's "Data Center Alley," home to over 3,500 technology companies and one of the largest data center markets in the world, currently boasts 25 million square feet of data centers in operation. That equals around 575 acres of data centers.
Supervisors need more information before considering any revisions or expansions to the existing data center overlay, including:
- A study that evaluates why the current 9,500 acres is insufficient to accommodate a viable data center market. An analysis of the potential impacts of expanding the overlay to new areas outside of industrial and business park areas.
- An analysis of impacts to parkland, agricultural, forestral, and cultural and natural resources, the Occoquan Reservoir watershed, and the associated economic goals.
- An analysis of the costs for improvements to the power grid needed to serve new data centers, including costs to bury new transmission lines.
We hope you will join us expressing your concern about this proposal. Please share your concerns with the County Supervisors prior to May 18, 2021 by emailing them at email@example.com.