LETTER TO THE EDITOR/ OPINION/SUBMITTED
Dear Supervisors, Planning Commissioners, (Deputy County Executive) Ms. Rebecca Horner and (Executive Director
Prince William Dept of Economic Development) Ms. Christina Winn,
As a health care professional and Chair of the Health and Safety Committee for the HOA Roundtable of PWC, I am again requesting a comprehensive map that shows already zoned Gainesville/Bristow/Haymarket data centers as well as those proposed to be zoned in 2022.
Our community needs to see this important information summarized on one easy-to-understand large map. Current County maps show data centers as one dot, whether they are individual data centers or a campus of 10 high-rise buildings. This has resulted in confusion so that almost no one in the heavily impacted Gainesville area is aware of how many data centers have been approved, or how many are coming up for approval. Over the past 12 months, data center approvals occurred with lightning speed, parcel by parcel, without any attempt to show the impacted community a holistic view.
My calculations show that the combined number of data centers that have already been zoned in Gainesville/Haymarket/Bristow + Devlin + PW Digital Gateway will total more than 130 data centers - all of them mid-rise to high-rise buildings on eight campuses near communities.
This is not a data center alley - it is a data center CITY and it is unconscionable that the citizens of the most impacted area are not being shown a comprehensive easy to understand map with an accompanying chart that demonstrates this.
Please keep in mind that during the past 12 months, when the majority of these approvals occurred, people were overwhelmed navigating the pandemic and its economic repercussions. Yet here we are again, not even giving the residents of this community a chance to catch their breath after returning from summer vacation/ getting kids ready for school, before racing into an aggressive early September agenda that includes the two biggest projects to date -- Devlin and PWDG Out of respect to this community, these projects must be deferred.
I believe the health and safety of Gainesville area citizens will be at risk during both the construction phase of this data center CITY, as well as once this data center CITY becomes operational.
I have attached Dr. John Lyver's data as to the potential noise impact that could make this area unlivable. Current noise zoning ordinances are archaic and data centers approved under these codes will likely be grandfathered as this is what has occurred elsewhere.
Please keep in mind that Supervisor Candland-R has been silent or silenced. As a result, this community has not had an email, a letter or a town hall informing constituents of the magnitude of community transformation. They had no reason to believe their community would be rezoned into a massive industrial city. Not one Supervisor ran on a platform of data center approvals near homes or in the Rural Crescent.
From a health and safety and environmental point of view, this is uncharted territory. There is nowhere else in the world approving this type of data center density around homes and schools. If Devlin and PWDG are approved we will have a contiguous data center mass up 234, west on the I-66 corridor, south on Linton Hall Road, north on Pageland, and then of course it appears Sanders Lane will chime in. ALL citizens of PWC deserve to see a map of this contiguous data center mass that will essentially double in size if PCWG and Devlin are approved.
1. Early/Mid September is too soon for massive projects like Devlin and PWDG to be on either planning or BOCS agenda. We know September is a terrible time for parents to become involved. Because these projects will have a massive impact on families, if these projects are on the September agenda, you are effectively silencing people with families.
2. Please provide a comprehensive and easy-to-understand map/chart of the data centers built, approved, or proposed in Gainesville/Bristow/Haymarket zip codes.
3. Please provide a large, easy-to-understand map/chart of data centers built, approved or proposed in the 234 corridors, the I-66 west of 234 corridors, the Linton Hall Road Corridor, and the Pageland Corridor so that all of the citizens of PWC can see the contiguous mass of data centers that could be in their future if Devlin and PWDG are approved.
I understand that in some cases the county would need to provide a range of the number of data centers that have been approved instead of an actual number, and that is fine. I also understand there may be zonings under NDA- I would appreciate an asterisk at the bottom of the map stating that the map may not include proposed data center sites that are in NDA status.
If the county is unable to provide the two maps/charts requested, I respectfully request the courtesy of an official response as to why this information is being withheld from the public. As stated in my previous email, I am sure you agree that there is nothing more critical to democracy and justice than an informed public.
Ally Stoeger OD
Health and Safety Committee
HOA Roundtable of PWC
NOTE: On June 22, 2022, I sent the email below to everyone on this list except that I have added Ms. Winn, several journalists and Ethan Gardner (assistant to Del Danica Roem). Please note that no PWC official replied to my original email request.- Ally Stoeger.
The argument of the article is that of Ally Stoeger and the HOA Roundtable of PWC and not necessarily that of Bristow Beat.
Bristow Beat has found that the county does not provide information in its planning documents on the number of data centers planned for a site. In most cases, that exact number has yet to be determined.
The 130 data centers Stoeger describes are zoned for the Gainesville area, not counting the data center overlay district (except when those sites are close to schools or neighborhoods.)
The data centers that most concern the HOA Roundtable are located near residential development and schools along the Linton Hall Corridor, in Gainesville and Bristow, and near Tyler Elementary School in Gainesville on Route 55.
Additionally, they oppose the Prince William Digital Gateway along Pageland Lane in the Rural Crescent.
Data centers locations that would affect neighborhoods and schools
1. Gainesville Crossing – 103 acres - 5 DC + Substation (Route 29 across from Conway Robinson State Park)
2. Village Place – 46 Acres - 4 DC (Gainesville Route 55 near Route 29)
3. I-66/29 – 97 acres - 6 DC + substation
4. Atlantic Research – 234 acres – 12 DC + 3 substations (Wellington Road)
5. Hunter/Bristow – 197 acres – probably 6 datacenters (near Amberleigh Station & Piney Branch ES)
6. Devlin/Bristow – 270 acres – probably 9 datacenters
7. Amazon- Haymarket across from Walmart - 3 data centers, Route 55
8. Prince William Digital Gateway - 90 (Pageland Road)
9. UPDATE: Dr. Lyver added Hazel Court/Linton Hall Road Bristow (near Youth for Tomorrow) - 2
Attachments: Dr. John Lyver's estimates are based on calculating the square footage available for each park and extrapolating how many buildings could fit in each location.
According to his findings, the county sites could house 240 data center buildings within both the overlay district and the area near residential communities.
This estimate includes the Devlin Tech Park and the Prince William Digital Gateway should they both be approved by the PW Board of County Supervisors.
UPDATED: Aug. 23 at 3:20 p.m.