On May 18, 2016 the Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted 7-1 to endorse Zoning Text Amendment A, which supports appropriate siting of data centres and supporting infrastructure, including electrical substations.
This certainly is a landmark win for the citizens of Prince William County who stayed true to their cause of protecting the environment and ensuring that they pass on a healthy ecosystem to the future generations. It was purely because of their sincere efforts and that of Planning director, Chris Price, and his staff, and the coordination offered by Supervisor Jeanine Lawson’s staff that Zoning Text Amendment A has been adopted into a law.
The citizens of Dominion Valley Haymarket can rest a little easier with the assurance that the data centres and their necessary infrastructure will be sited appropriately, with reasonable oversight.
With Zoning Text Amendment a law now, Businesses like Dominion Virginia power will have to consult their proposal with the County Board of Supervisors, so that they can approve it and put it into effect, and this also means the citizens of the county can put forward their concerns and influence the fate of the project if it is not environment friendly and degrades the existing ecosystem.
Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg added categorically, “It’s easy to miss how important ZTA A will be. The Dominion-Amazon extension cord debacle uncovered an ambiguity in county permitting. And this is not because of the data centre itself, but because the site lacks necessary infrastructure – electrical power, in this case. So instead of employing the same level of regulatory examination that a cellphone tower or Chik-Fil-A drive-through receive, we get secrecy, an overhead extension cord, eroded property values, and years of community chaos. Frankly, the vagueness and volatility of the status quo benefits no one. ZTA A means use and support will be attended together, in a proven and reliable process, with citizen and supervisor input.”
For now it is celebration time for the citizens of Prince William County!