Gardner Property map

The 81 acres proposed for rezoning are outside the county's data center overlay district.

A data center proposal in Gainesville is threatening the Hillwood Camping Park and several mobile homes.

Delaware Land LLC, associated with prominent data center developer Chuck Kuhn, is in contract to purchase 14 parcels between Routes 29 and 55 near Gainesville, with plans to build nearly 2 million square feet of data centers if it can get the Board of County Supervisors to go along with what will surely be a controversial rezoning.

Among the 81.9 acres proposed for rezoning is the Hillwood Camping Park, home to a number of mobile homes and campgrounds on over 15 acres.

Submitted in December, the Gardner Property proposal from Kuhn and Delaware Land is to rezone the 14 parcels – currently designated for agricultural, general business and residential – to light industrial use, while also amending the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District to include the properties. In the county’s Comprehensive Plan, the properties are designated in the long term for technology/flex, office mixed-use and residential uses. The properties are currently owned by a variety of private companies, individuals and land trusts, mostly associated with the Charles V. Gardner Estate.

According to May 15 comments on the proposal’s first submission from Prince William County planning staff, the move to amend the overlay district will require a board-approved zoning text amendment. “This request is being brought to the BOCS on June 6th for initiation,” the comment reads.

The comments from staff also include concerns regarding the proposed floor-to-area ratio (FAR), or density, of the data center proposal, which would allow for up to 1.8 million square feet of data center usage. Typically, light industrial uses are limited to a .5 FAR, but Delaware Land is requesting a waiver to go to 1.0 FAR.

“The proposal requests a 1.0 FAR for any data center/data center associated use based on the cumulative total of the property and not the percentage of each subdivided parcel,” the staff comments read. “As it reads, the development would be able to build a 1.0 FAR sized data center associated with the entire 81 acre site, and then subdivide out portions of land not built on and then locate other M-2 uses on these parcels … If this is what you are proposing, this seems problematic and requests a much higher FAR for the data center use than a 1.0 FAR. Please elaborate on your request and explain it in more detail.”

The proposal also includes a request for a waiver allowing the project to build up to 80 feet, above the 60 allowed by-right for light industrial zoning.

Planning staff also raised concerns about plans to develop on public right-of-way owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the location of a proposed electric substation, saying it would be close to townhome units in the Townes at Village Place.

“The Applicant is encouraged to relocate the electric substation more central to the site, currently it is proposed in the northernmost portion of the property within close proximity to existing residential townhome units,” staff wrote.

County staff requested that the developer respond to their comments within 45 days of May 15.

The comment process is part of the staff review all rezoning proposals undergo. After comments and resubmissions, county planning staff will make a recommendation on whether to approve the project or not. If the board agrees to include it in the overlay district, it would be able to forego the special-use permit process for rezonings.

Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at


Jared Foretek covers Prince William County Public Schools, the city of Manassas and transportation news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at

(11) comments

Otter Tot

I just realized this wasn't the same Gainesville I live in... but my argument still stands. Stand up for what's right, Virginians!

Otter Tot

I am sick of seeing our nature be turned into gas stations, plazas, and unaffordable apartments. Gainesvilles culture and history and slowly being wiped out by this type of expansion. Who remembers wheb this town was a bit more green? I don't care what your political affiliation is, we can all agree that seeing parking lots, gas stations,and large data centers as far as the eye can see is garbage. Protect our environment.


These data centers need to be stopped

Casey Boy

I see Ricky Bobby or whatever this redneck's name is changed his Display name to Educated Patriot. What's the matter? Coward doesn't want to stand up for what he says on line?!

Stephanie Richardson

Nothing but butchers. So much for protecting our natural environment. Long live ecology, but not in Northern Virginia and not with these BOS.

Casey Boy

Development is one thing, changing zoning ordinances to fit the Board of Supervisors needs is another. It's wrong Bobby David so don't give us your sparsely populated just move bullshit!

Kevin Will

darn democrats and republicans taking up our land.. this is despicable.. disgusting.. tragic... this needs to stop.. #notmybristow #punishthem

Will Williams

I'm sure wheeler and the rest of the corrupt bocs will pass this. Tim Kaine needs his 100k and Million dollar condo from the Dominion energy exec? Wheeler used to work for Dominion too if I am correct. What better than a data center that uses a million kilowatts a day? Maybe we can cover the county with data centers and solar farms? Tim and his whale killing offshore windmills will surely benefit from this also.

Rob Pixley

There's zero evidence windmills have any link to the strandings. The fact that Conservative groups and eco NIMBYs are saying there are speaks to truth of the claims. Ship strikes kill many many whales..but they aren't calling for an end to that industry 🤔

Educated Patriot

Either that or another townhouse development. Continued development in NoVA is inevitable until we run out of space. If you are looking for a sparsely populated, rural area, may I suggest Buchanan County.

Rob Pixley

Here in Manassas (Great Oaks) we got *both*! Wheee

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