The Prince William County Republican Committee has passed a resolution to oppose the construction of data centers in the Rural Crescent, which was established in 1998 to protect sensitive environmental resources and the watershed for Prince William and neighboring counties. The resolution notes that land has already been put aside in The Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District (DCOZOD) for Data Center development. Now, the Democrats on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors are rushing to destroy the Rural Crescent in order to open it to data centers and other industrial development. The Resolution asserts there is still sufficient land in the DCOZOD for data centers.
In addition to the data centers, which can be up to ten stories high, the development will require transmission lines and substations, along with the transformation of Pageland Lane, which adjoins the Manassas Battlefield National Park, into a four-lane highway that will add immeasurable traffic and noise to the area.The Prince William County Republican Committee is proud to add its voice to environmental groups and other concerned citizens in opposing this rush to irreversibly change the landscape and nature of Prince William County. We will oppose this effort by the Democrats on the Board of Supervisors, if they insist on proceeding with this, we promise to make this an issue in 2023 when all county supervisors are up for election.
(Text of Resolution follows)
Resolution Opposing Building Data Centers in the Rural Crescent
WHEREAS, the Rural Crescent was established in 1998 with the intention to preserve rural environmental resources and manage infrastructure costs responsibly within Prince William County. It is a planned buffer and rural preservation area intended to strengthen this county’s ability to control urban sprawl, to maintain open space and a country atmosphere. The PWC BOCS created this Rural Crescent boundary; and
WHEREAS, The Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District (DCOZOD) was created by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (PWC BOCS) to Adopt Zoning Text Amendment #DPA2016-00003, Data Center Opportunity Zone-Countywide ord16-21.pdf (pwcgov.org). It was intended to encourage Data Centers to locate in predetermined areas of the County. The focus of the 2016 effort was primarily on infrastructure availability, specifically power; and
WHEREAS, the PWC BOCS is considering the PW Digital Gateway draft Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) #CPA2021-00004 PW Digital Gateway (pwcva.gov) and, and the Pathway to 2040 draft CPA Pathway to 2040: Comprehensive Plan Update (pwcva.gov) both of which would be inside the Rural Crescent; and
WHEREAS, On May 18, 2021, res21-327.pdf (pwcgov.org), the PWC BOCS initiated amendments to County policies and regulations related to data center development including the DCOZOD, the Design and Construction Standards Manual, the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other appropriate development regulations; and
WHEREAS, the need to set aside more areas for data centers has not been validated. There is still significant undeveloped land in the existing overlay district; and
WHEREAS, the transmission lines and substations essential to the operation of data centers already exist elsewhere, but would have to be constructed at great cost to locate data centers near the Manassas Battlefield, such as on Pageland Lane. This is included in the PW Digital Gateway draft CPA and the Pathway to 2040 draft CPA; and
WHEREAS, the PWC BOCS is planning to include a four-lane highway that will add traffic and noise along Pageland Lane; and
WHEREAS, the PWC BOCS has not determined the negative impacts to the watershed or the Occoquan Reservoir; and
WHEREAS, the Democrat members of the PWC BOCS are disregarding the strong opposition to their plans from the residents of Prince William County, who have repeatedly and with overwhelming bipartisan majorities told the Board of Supervisors that they want these rural areas protected.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT: the Prince William County Republican Committee will resist the campaign to negatively impact the environmental resources of Prince William County into industrial zones under high-voltage power lines with substations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: the Prince William County Republican Committee will use the Democrat Board of Supervisor’s effort to develop the Rural Crescent into a data center zone as a leading issue in our campaign to take back control of the Board of County Supervisors in the November 2023 general election.