Bristow, Virginia – Community activists will hold a rally and press conference outside of Amberleigh Station in Bristow, Saturday at 1 p.m., to protest Dutch data center developer Yondr’s plans to build multiple data center buildings behind the small HOA community.
The data center will house eleven 300,000 square-foot, 80-foot-high data centers within 100 feet of their homes, according to plans Amberleigh Station HOA President Steve Pleickhardt received from the Prince William County Planning Office via the Freedom of Information Act.
The demonstration will focus on the "horrendous" Prince William County site plan that will subject the 170 homes of Amberleigh Station, Silver Leaf Estates, and nearby schools and businesses to years of high-decibel construction noise.
"The noise pollution will continue from ventilation fans and rooftop air conditioning units once the data centers become operational," said one organizer.
In addition, the community is protesting the Prince William County Board of County Supervisor’s upcoming vote, on Sept. 13, to create the “Devlin Technology Park” only a few hundred yards east of Amberleigh on Linton Hall Road.
Together these would surround Amberleigh Station and Silver Leaf Estates on three sides with data centers up to 120 feet tall. (The Prince William BOCS will hold a public hearing for that application, for which members of the public can sign up to speak. )
"Prince William County government continues to be overly accommodating to data center development at the peril of its citizens," said a spokesperson. "The County’s insufficient noise mitigation measures at Amazon’s Tanner Way data centers highlight the incompatibility of data centers with adjacent residential communities and is a bellwether of what is in store for residents of Bristow and Gainesville (fighting the Prince William Digital Gateway)."
"Runaway data center development is enveloping western Prince William County as citizens feel powerless to alter the determined intentions of insensitive elected officials."
"Local government needs to halt all data center development adjacent to residential communities until it can demonstrate an understanding of, and remediation for, the profound detrimental effects of what it has already approved."
Organizations represented will be:
Members of neighboring communities who oppose the data center development are welcome to join the protest. Protesters will meet Saturday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m. on Linton Hall Road at the intersection of Bourne Place.
Arrive a bit early. There is parking within the Amberleigh Station neighborhood and at Bristow Run Elementary across the street.
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There are some very important points of distinction that should be made between neighborhoods such as Amberleigh Station and Silver Leaf Estates that unfortunately are either inside of or bordering the Data Center Overlay District vs. a Heritage Hunt which is the only dense housing that is anywhere remotely near the Prince Willam Digital Gateway. First and foremost, UNLIKE the residents of Heritage Hunt who will have AT MINIMUM anywhere from 850 to 1000 feet of tree buffer between them and any data center facility the residents in Amberleigh Station & Silver Leaf Estates are dealing with "by right" setbacks that are in the 50 to 100 foot range. In the Pageland Corridor there isn't a single school, place of worship, day care center, and very few homes that would remain (there aren't very many here now anyway). So, to bundle all Data Center projects together and say they are identical is untoward.
The Data Center Overlay District was created in 2016 in an attempt to find land to participate in the tax revenue generation that Data Centers provide. The only reason Data Centers have ended up anywhere near neighborhoods, schools, and people is because that's the only place they have been allowed to be built.
In terms of developable land PWC is really only half the size it appears to be because the "Rural Crescent" and its 117,000 acres (52% of all the land in the county) has been off limits for the last 24 years. So, what did PREVIOUS COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS (none of the Board that is governing today was around in 2016 except Lawson and Candland)) come up with to work around the "Rural Crescent"? The Data Center Overlay District... which I would argue likely wouldn't have been designed the way it is if other less populated land had been available at that time.
All that said a person cannot in one breath argue that Data Centers shouldn't be built near people, schools, homes, churches, etc.. and in the next breath also argue that they shouldn't be built AWAY from people, schools, homes, churches. Improved/updated noise ordinances are a good idea but so is developing these tremendous revenue producers in very lowly populated areas. What's the ideal place where there isn't a single school, a single church, a single day care center and VERY FEW HOMES and alongside both existing power and fiber? Where would that be? The Pageland corridor. Thats where they belong.
Friday, September 9, 2022 Report this
The comment that Heritage Hunt will not be impacted by data centers noise is not accurate. In Chandler AZ citizens could hear noise from CyrusOne and other data centers up to a mile away. and the noise was not able to be successfully mitigated. Citizens in Great Oak in Manassas have data center noise at over 800 feet and and that noise has not been successfully mitigated to date.
Tree buffers don't work for either noise or hiding data centers during the half the year they have no leaves. And, even when they do have leaves, the noise buffering effect is modest.
So don't get fooled by developer's plans showing trees - they may not end up looking as good as they look in the sketches, they may end up being damaged and replaced by tiny saplings, they will be bare half the year, and they are not great at buffering noise even when the leaves are there.
The bottom line is that if the PW Digital Gateway CPA data centers on Pageland Lane are a good idea now, they will still be a good idea in 2024. Why the Rush? Let's wait until Gainesville has a voting representative. Let's see how the first of these mega-campuses (Gainesville Crossing) looks before we zone 90 more on Pageland. Let's wait to see how much power and how many transmission lines are needed for the ones that have already been zoned. Let's take the time to do the watershed study.
This Board of County Supervisors needs to hit the STOP button. Gainesville/Haymarket/Bristow have already been too heavily burdened from the frenzied data center approvals of the past 12 months.
Friday, September 9, 2022 Report this
JP is wrong yet again, the setbacks were not by-right on the parcels surrounding Amberleigh, they were negotiated as part of a rezoning and special use application as the parcels were not originally in the overlay. They were not in the overlay by design and because citizens fought to prevent their inclusion in 2016.
The reason data centers are being built next to neighborhoods is not the overlay but rather data center developers buying cheaper greenfield space outside the overlay rather than vacant or brownfield properties inside the overlay, and convincing the geniuses on the BOCS that data centers at those locations are a good idea, quality of life for the neighbors be damned.
Again JP, I ask you, where were you in 2016 if you are such a font of knowledge.
Saturday, September 10, 2022 Report this