So much for the self-proclaimed "overwhelming majority" who oppose any change to the Rural Area.
Here are some of the most positive responses:
KKNARR Let's take a close look at the Manassas National Battlefield Park situation in relationship to the PW Digital Gateway: They stand to gain land beyond their Congressionally mandated limits thanks to their private land trust; they get the Manassas Battlefield Bypass partially paid for and constructed; they gain the pre-conditions for limited traffic inside the park boundaries on HWY 29 and HWY 234 Business; they gain a new entrance to the Brawner Farm portion of the park; they gain additional buffering outside the park on top of the mature, natural viewshed protection they already have within the park boundaries; they are finally able to connect their trails to the Conway Robinson State Park trails at no expense to either; and the applicants have already agreed to meet or exceed all of the concessions the National Park Service required of the Gainesville Crossing Data Center complex in 2019. It seems to me the Manassas National Battlefield Park is making out fairly well on this deal.
JPRINVA Very balanced article but here’s what it actually means to you if you’re a PW County resident …HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLRS IN ANNUAL TAX REVENUES (as much as $700 million PER YEAR) that these Data Centers in the PAGELAND corridor will generate… translating to enormous new funding for our county schools, increased budget for our fire, police & rescue departments, increased budget for expansion or enhancements to existing parks and creation of new parks, job creation and the very likely lowering of residential property taxes for ALL Prince William Co property owners. Ask yourself if you’re willing to forgo all of that because the land in question happens to be NEAR but NOT ON a National Park.
4ZNats I know my beliefs run counter to the retired horsey golf set in the western part of the county but there is nothing sacred about the Rural Crescent. Those people wanted their 10 acre lots and golf course communities (one of which is no longer in business), shops clustered in Gainesville and then development cut off to everybody else. While the eastern part of PWC lives with zoning made in the 1960s and 1970s resulting in over development, those in the west think they are entitled to peace, quiet and wide open spaces. Its time the Rural Crescent be rezoned for future development so all residents of Prince William have their share of industries and other development. Even with some development of that area, PWC has a huge concentration of parks (local, state, and federal), and historic sites. Time to say no to the small minded Anne Snyder's of the world who put a stop to past development such as Disney's America. Way past time for those people to stop living in the past forcing most development to stay in the eastern part of the county or along Innovation Park. I would encourage the county to enhance land conservation in the Rural Crescent by real farmers growing real crops and not just those mini farmettes for selfish wealthy people and their horses.
Pat 109 Some interesting facts: PWC total population = approx. 480,000 (2020 census data) Population in the Rural Area = approx. 30,000 or 6% of the county Total Acreage of the Rural Area = 117,000 +/- acres or 52 percent of the county. With the 10-acre limit on residential property in the Rural Area, only the wealthy can afford to live there. Could this be a hidden motive to oppose rezoning?
Sky_Cancer And the rural crescent has become a joke. Nothing is being 'preserved'. Its mostly people who CLEAR 5-10 acres of land to build an obnoxiously large house. Most of the 'real' legacy farmers in the area WANT the land rezoned for subdivisions and data centers. This, this, this. Just drive around it and see all the construction going on. Large, single family homes on acres of land that's been cleared for them. Zero agriculture going on unless they're growing lettuce in their back yard.
FLTransplant It’s hard to have much sympathy for residents of a nearly 2,000 home community that replaced farmland who are now arguing aginst further development because it would change the character of the area they live in. oebiusX7 This idea of a perfect pastoral paradise being ruined by new icky businesses is a myth. Gainesville has had large businesses operating there for years. The Atlas Ironworks had a huge forge there from the 50s until they tore it down 20 years ago to make the Target shopping center. Atlantic Research put a plant out there in the 60s and was doing rocket tests there until just a couple of years before they moved everything to Orange. In fact, they have an environmental problem there now from all the rocket propellant that seeped into the earth recquiring massive cleanup. This is on Wellington Rd, only a couple of miles away from these people in Pageland Lane, btw.
Tedstor The residents of Heritage Hunt have mounted the most intense opposition. Most of the retired professionals in the 55-plus community — which includes an 18-hole golf course that’s a short drive away from wineries and hiking trails — moved to get away from the bustle of the District and its inner suburbs, which they now see following them as more neighborhoods and businesses appear. And THIS is a perfect example of the typical NIMBY. Heritage Hunt is a cookie cutter subdivision that is FAAAAARRR more disruptive to the area than 20 data centers ever could be. These codgers are basically saying "Gainesville became perfect the day that I moved here......now that I'm here, nothing else should change". Half these people probably lived in Fairfax County before they got old. They probably lived and worked on sites that were formerly woods before it was bulldozed and paved over. And now they are doing it again. I live in Gainesville. I'd rather have the data centers than another active retirement community, or another subdivision/shopping center.
Thomas Cjr What Heritage Hunt senior residents fail to accept is that their community was farmland developed prior to the Rural Crescent designation. The Gainesville area doesn't need another over 50+ community driving up the costs of county services. Janine Lawson is a hypocrite because she voted to approve the Gainesville Crossing DC Complex that is adjacent to the MNBP. The fact that we are commenting on this article on line further demonstrates the need for more data centers. 5G is here. Let's work together to make this project a benefit for all county residents both increasing the commercial tax base and providing parks residence can actually use.
EmuFarm The Rural crescent is 80,000 acres. The land owners living under the existing behemoth power lines are asking to convert less than 1% of the rural crescent into data centers to benefit the county for endless already approved, but not funded green projects, trails, schools and other smart growth projects we've been waiting for. The other 99% of the rural crescent is not going away. Why not give up just 1% for the rare opportunity to get 70% more tax revenue. Sounds like a no brainer to me. For the heritage hunt folks. You will literally be able to walk to the battlefield from your homes on the new trails the data center revenue will fund. Folks, Ken Burns is wrong. From the battlefield viewshed you won't even see 1% of the data centers. But you WILL see the existing power lines. Don't believe the Heritage Hunt Battlefield arguments. They have not really looked closely except for one guided tour two weeks ago when Janice Stone, environmentalist, led a first timer group tour and said "You can already see houses...you would be replacing a house with a data center. Not sure there is a huge difference. The intrusion on your view would still be shielded by these trees here, and you still have these powerlines. Not a big difference." Most opponents don't understand this fact: The PW gateway proposal is for the 2040 comprehensive plan, not what already has been allocated to the overlay that exists now. By that time, the data centers will not use any water, produce no waste and not generate any more traffic and likely be net zero anyway. This is a smart decision. No more wasteful housing developments our roads cannot support. If it's not data centers decided now, it will be housing which we can all agree will be more polluting. This is a golden opportunity for PWC residents. Don't let Loudoun take this one away from us. Help our schools, our trails, our parks and our smart planners.
MrKenny The rural crescent was a failed smart growth project that many opponents to the PW Gateway are clinging to in an attempt to try and preserve a privileged exclusionary border from urban sprawl. It may have started with good intentions, but certainly didn’t end that way. It’s also hard to have much sympathy for residents of a nearly 2,000 home community that replaced farmland who are now arguing aginst further development because it would change the character of the area they live in. Most opponents don't understand this fact: The PW gateway proposal is for the 2040 comprehensive plan, not what already has been allocated to the overlay that exists now. By that time, the data centers will not use any water, produce no waste and not generate any more traffic and likely be net zero anyway. The precedent for moving data centers to this area was solidified in 2019 when the BOCS, including Janine Lawson, approved the 3 million square foot Gainesville Crossing Datacenter project that borders BOTH the Manassas National Battlefield and Conway Robinson State Park. This complex is also outside the current data center overlay. The residents here are being proactive by see the writing on the wall and protecting themselves all the while establishing an amazing opportunity for the whole of Prince William County. For those concerned about environmental or view shed impacts, please take the time to actually read through the plan before playing the sentimental armchair warrior.
To read more, click below: