Prince William County planners recommend approval of PW Digital Gateway

The recommendation represents the first official stance taken by county officials on the request to designate nearly 2,100 acres in western Prince William County for data centers.

The proposal represents a key crossroads in the future of the ever-growing data center industry in Northern Virginia, particularly in Prince William County.

The staff report covers the expanded scope. It would designate 2,139 acres currently designated as agricultural/estate and environmental resource to technology/flex, parks and open space, county registered historic site and environmental resource overlay.

The proposed change would target:

  • 1,321 acres as technology/flex

  • 807 acres as parks and open space

  • 439.8 acres as environmental resource protection overlay

  • 9.6 acres as county historic registered site.

The staff report says if the Comprehensive Plan amendment is approved, the potential data center usage would range from 13.2 million to 27 million square feet and support 1,471 to 5,048 jobs.

The report commends the application on several points:

  • Proposed “identification and preservation” of historic sites

  • Including a viewshed analysis to “inform proposed policy that help minimize visual impacts to important cultural resources”

  • Providing a “significant opportunity” to increase the county’s commercial tax revenue

  • A “robust and connected system of greenways, trails, open space, and parks”

  • Improvements to the road network

  • Will encourage development in line with "world-class sustainability initiatives”

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