data center generic

It will be at least spring before Prince William County finishes a review of the areas it has targeted for data center development.

But that hasn’t stopped the proposals from rolling in – particularly in the Linton Hall area.

County planners provided a brief update on the recently initiated review of the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District to the Planning Commission during its meeting Sept. 1. 

The district, which covers about 10,000 acres, was designated in 2016 to support data center development by reducing regulatory hurdles. The Board of County Supervisors voted in May to spend an estimated $120,000 on a consultant to study expanding the overlay district along high-transmission power lines.

The consultant will examine potential areas to expand the district, but will also consider necessary changes to construction standards, the Comprehensive Plan, zoning ordinance and any other effects from data centers.

During the Sept. 1 meeting, Planning Director Parag Agrawal said no working documents have been created. As information is gathered, it will be posted on the county’s website.

County planner Alex Stanley said the first public engagement sessions are planned for the fall, followed by another in the winter and planned approval by the spring.

Commissioners requested more information about how many acres are in the overlay district, how many have been used and the number of data centers constructed both inside and outside the district.

Meanwhile, three proposals are in the pipeline in the Linton Hall area, with one scheduled for the Planning Commission’s Sept. 15 meeting. All are in the Brentsville magisterial district.

South Point

South Point Phase II LLC is seeking approval for a data center on 22.23 acres across six properties off Wellington Drive. The land is off Buckeye Timber Drive and within the existing data center overlay district.

The company is owned by Corporate Office Properties Trust of Columbia, Md., which owns an adjacent data center constructed in 2015.

The request, submitted in June 2020, is for an amendment to the 2010 conditions that came with the rezoning of the property to industrial use. 

Under the current regulations, the company is capped at 253,000 square feet of use and a 60-foot building height. Those conditions would remain, but with an exception added for data centers to allow up to 530,000 square feet of use and 67 feet in height.

The site plan shows a pair of two-story buildings with an entrance off the end of Buckeye Timber Drive. It comes with a 20-foot landscape buffer along Wellington Road and a 100-foot buffer from the southern property line. The development would retain 40% of open space.

The company has pledged to contribute $324,967 to the county to mitigate the proposal’s impact on water quality and fire and rescue services.

The request is scheduled for a public hearing at the Planning Commission’s Sept. 15 meeting.

Amazon

Amazon Data Services Inc. has requested a special-use permit, Comprehensive Plan amendment and a rezoning on 77 acres for a data center and accompanying electrical substation.

The property is off Sudley Road, or Va. 234, next to Manassas Mall and near the intersection of Sudley and Godwin Drive.

The majority of the land is zoned agricultural with about 0.9 acre designated as business. Both zonings would be changed to planned business district. The permit is required for the electrical substation.

Amazon is under contract to purchase the vacant land, valued at $6.35 million, from the estate of Lewis Percival Ashby Jr.  Claude Compton and Bankhead Thornton Davies are executors of the estate. 

The proposal is for four two-story buildings, up to 550,000 square feet of use and a maximum building height of 75 feet. The entrances would come off Ashton Avenue.

The property is not within the existing overlay district, although the boundary is directly south of the parcel on the other side of Ashton Avenue.

The proposal was submitted in May. County staff have requested more landscaping along the property lines. 

No public hearing has been scheduled on the proposal.

KH Data

KH Data Capital Development Land LLC is seeking a revision to the conditions of the industrial zoning on its 37-acre property off Wellington Road.

The company is registered at a large skyscraper in Boston and it’s unclear whether it is a subsidiary of a larger business. 

The property is within the existing overlay district at the intersection of Wellington and Hayden roads near Iron Mountain Data Centers.

The proposal, submitted in June, is for 1.6 million square feet of data center uses on a vacant part of the property. The company is allowed 808,000 square feet under the existing zoning conditions and the revisions would allow for the increase. 

The development would be capped at a 70-foot building height. The site plan shows a 15-foot landscape strip along the southeastern property line and a 50-foot landscape buffer along Prince William Parkway, which crosses the rear of the parcel.

No public meeting has been scheduled on the proposal.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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