A recent Reuters article dives into the reasons why surging use of the internet since the pandemic began has fueled demand for new data centers - and competition for land – close to big urban hubs.
*Northern Virginia at heart of U.S. data center boom * Landowners in protected area want to sell for development * Companies increasingly seek sites close to urban hubs
What land owners are saying:
"We have a real vested interest in the health and well-being of the county," Snyder told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. At issue are her rights as a property owner, Snyder said, but she added that revenue from the development, along with a philanthropic community foundation the landowners are proposing to create, would be a much-needed boom to the area.
"It's not rural (anymore)," said Mary Ann Ghadban, in her mid-60s, who said she used to ride her horse down the road they live on - now a busy route crisscrossed by overhead power lines. "Now, when we get our mail, we have to look both ways and quickly get it before somebody's truck knocks us down," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call.
What board members are saying:
Victor S. Angry, another member of the county's supervisory board, said it felt "disingenuous" to continue imposing 20-year-old development restrictions on property owners, calling for a collaborative process to find a way forward. He also highlighted the possible tax revenue windfall of being "ground zero of the internet". "These opportunities exist," he said. "We can't just say, 'It's the Rural Crescent, and I like looking at it'."