PW Gateway McCoart 27.jpg

Opponents of the PW Gateway plan gathered at the McCoart government building before a Board of Supervisors' meeting.

There may never be a more important time in Prince William County’s history than the next few months.

Our Board of County Supervisors is preparing to make a series of decisions that will affect the way this county develops, what kinds of businesses it attracts, and how it will look for decades to come. These decisions will have far more impact on the daily lives of Prince William residents than anything happening in Congress right now (or possibly ever), and it’s your one opportunity to affect those decisions.

On the board’s agenda are:

Rezoning requests for additional large data center projects.

A proposal to change the county’s Comprehensive Plan to designate over 2,100 acres along Pageland Road for data centers (aka, the PW Digital Gateway).

A revision of the county’s Comprehensive Plan that will guide growth through the year 2040, including what kind of development will be allowed in the so-called “Rural Crescent.”

Are you worried about the long-term effect of tens of millions of square feet of additional data centers in our community? Or do you think the benefits in terms of new tax revenue will outweigh the costs?

If more data centers are approved, what mitigation strategies do you want to see? Where should they be located? What should be done to reduce their impacts on the environment and surrounding communities? How should they be made quieter and less of an eyesore?

If you don’t think data centers are an appropriate use for the 2,100 acres along Pageland Lane, then what would be appropriate? Would new housing developments be worse? And how can we ensure more affordable housing in the county as a whole?

As we urged in our July 28 editorial (“Picture this for Prince William”), we believe those are just a few of the questions the board should ask about the growth of data centers in our community and the Digital Gateway project.

Your opportunity to ask those questions and press for answers is now.

A year from now, when you wonder why Pageland Lane is being widened and trees are being cut down, is too late. Two years from now, when you wonder why you see all those cranes from your bedroom window, is too late. Three years from now, when you wonder why those huge concrete walls are being erected, is too late.

Now is your time to express your opinion, to offer your thoughts, to let your supervisor – and the entire board – know your position on these issues. You have a right to be heard; take advantage of that right. If you can’t attend one of the public hearings, write an email to your supervisor.

And if you don’t like how your supervisor votes on these big issues over the next few weeks, remember this: 2023 is an election year. But by then the future of Prince William may already be determined.

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(10) comments

Fix Prince William

Time to sign Ann Wheeler out of office!

Bill Wright

Bravo to Inside NOVA for its excellent editorial.

Those active in opposing these horrific proposals have been very frustrated in trying to arouse the attention of an uninformed public. It seems only the financially conflicted are fully engaged.

Supervisors are perfectly entitled to disagree with our opposition to the Prince William Digital Gateway. What they are not entitled to do is stonewall legitimate citizen inquiries, suppress evidence, dismiss responsible precautions and otherwise use their influence to subvert what is supposed to be an impartial review process.

The applicants are entitled to advocate for their interests. They are not entitled to collude with public officials, advertise improper proffers or present false motives to elicit public support.

Anyone paying close attention can see the degree of complicity by county officials shamelessly carrying the water for moneyed interests. Any lingering doubt trusting souls might have had about how seriously impaired the county review processes are went out the window with last Wednesday’s comically pre-ordained Planning Commission public hearing. Reason and judgment would have stood a better chance at the Salem witch trials.

Your elected officials are “in the tank” for runaway development and are flouting your disengagement to act with impunity. Speak up now or impotently whine later.

Dick Grayson

Build more townhouses, condos and apartment complexes, make western PWC a ghetto just like the East

Ed Pa

Unless he gets recalled, the district containing pageland won't have a vote because Pete has to recuse. Do the right thing Pete and RESIGN

Bill Rio

If it lines their pockets, they are going to do it.

dave strut

It lines the pockets of PWC and it's citizens with the growth it brings.

John Dutko Re-Incarnated

Yes, and covid 19 came from a guy eating a bat kabob in Wuhan. You’re just another brick in the wall.

Fake Commenter

Is that why it's so affordable to live in Loudoun county?

dave strut

Rich countries get rich citizens, poor counties get poor citizens, that's how the world works.

Duke Nukem

@Dave, is that why Martha's Vineyard evacuated those immigrants so quickly? They just didn't belong right? lol. The leftwing party is coming for your rich county, you need to break it down by race anyway, not income. Haven't you learned anything in the last 15 years?

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