Tuesday, December 19, 2023

PWDG falls short of the CPA and Zoning Ordinance


 December 11, 2023

Dear Chair Wheeler and Members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors:

We are writing in advance of your public hearing tomorrow on the three proposed “Digital Gateway” rezonings.  At the outset, we wish to emphasize that we strongly oppose all three proposals.  Data centers are a fundamental part of the technology infrastructure that supports the modern economy, and they have a place in Prince William County and other localities in Virginia.  However, given the enormous impacts they can inflict on the surrounding environment and nearby communities, it is essential that they be appropriately sited and scaled.  With its broad array of invaluable historic, cultural, and environmental resources, the landscape immediately west and northwest of Manassas National Battlefield Park is simply an unsuitable location for a data center and technology complex, especially of this massive scale.   

We acknowledge that some of you may disagree, as evidenced by the Board’s adoption of the PW Digital Gateway Comprehensive Plan Amendment (“Digital Gateway CPA”) late last year.  However, we trust that you will fulfill your collective duty to ensure that any rezoning applications proposed in this area: (1) comply with all pertinent requirements of the Virginia Code and Prince William County Zoning Ordinance; and (2) are reasonably consistent with the protections and guidelines in the Digital Gateway CPA.  The three proposals coming before you tomorrow meet neither of those basic marks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Comments to the Board on PWDG

The following were our comments delivered to the Board of County Supervisors on December 12 in opposition to 3 rezoning applications collectively referred to as the Prince William Digital Gateway.

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I understand that many of you have already formed your opinions on the rezonings we are discussing today. The allure of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue is undeniable. I also acknowledge that this has been a long day, and it's a challenge to ask anyone to remain engaged for such an extended period. Yet, I implore you to pause for a moment. This is not a process to be endured simply to cast a vote at the end. There is wisdom in this process, and there is wisdom in the voices standing up for sustainability and our environment. 

Let's not forget that even with the approval of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, these proposals are not inevitable.  Fairfax County, for example, took a decisive step by downzoning, - not just replanning, but downzoning 41,000 acres in order the protect the Occoquan reservoir - a decision was upheld by the courts. Here in Prince William County, our primary strategy to protect the drinking water that the eastern end relies on - me included - has been to maintain the rural area that reduces development pressures on the reservoir. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Call for Conscientious Consideration: Prince William Digital Gateway Threatens Land, Water, Heritage

MEDIA ALERT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
December 8, 2023

 

A Call for Conscientious Consideration: Prince William Digital Gateway Threatens Land, Water, Heritage 

 

Woodbridge, Virginia – The United Tribes of the Shenandoah, alongside a diversity of community faith leaders, will host a peaceful prayer ceremony on Tuesday, December 12, at 9 AM at the Sean T. Connaughton Plaza located between the James J. McCoart Building and Development Services Building at the county government complex in Woodbridge, VA.  The prayer vigil will precede the scheduled public hearing to consider the Prince William Digital Gateway.

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