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35% Protected Open Space

This addition of land to be reserved for Targeted Industry employment use in the Gainesville Regional Activity Center (through an extension of the I-66/Route 29 Activity Center) is primarily an economic development initiative that will enable the County to both sustain a 35% sustainable, diversified commercial tax base as well as enhance the overall local economy.

Allocating additional land for new data centers is critical to ensure future economic growth and financial health for Prince William. This will allow the County to compete on a national and regional basis for new high-tech investment, jobs and facilities.

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​​The Corridor is uniquely suitable for Data Centers.

  • Sites located within one mile of existing high-voltage electric transmission and fiber optic corridors are considered optimal for data centers, because less new infrastructure is needed.

  • The Corridor has large undeveloped parcels with great potential redevelopment to clustered data center campuses, building upon the other nearby data center campuses within the adjacent I-66/Route 29 Activity Center.

  • Data centers, compared to other types of commercial uses, result in fewer vehicle trips, lower lighting levels and less outdoor noise.

Substantial contiguous acreage available for redevelopment, a close proximity to Dominion Virginia Power’s high voltage major transmission corridor, and on-site multiple fiber optic availability combine to provide a unique opportunity to achieve long-term County objectives related to economic development and the Strategic Plan, while protecting, preserving, and enhancing the natural ecosystem. The PWDG Corridor Plan creates a new high-tech identity for Prince William and to establish a unique sense of place in Gainesville, one which harmonizes the importance of both nature and technology.

Without this new plan guidance and its associated implementation, many of the environmental and cultural resources within the Corridor will continue to degrade over time. It is unlikely the current development pattern will continue. 

  • Strict Use Limitations - the new Corridor Plan recommends only data centers, parks, and open space. The land use designations will take pressure off of existing commercially-zoned properties elsewhere, encouraging those areas to be developed with other important Targeted Industry uses besides data centers that are desirable to the County, such as life sciences industry, bio-medical research, industrial flex, industrial and specialized logistics/supply chain facilities. The new Corridor Plan diminishes the chance of a “data center only” economy and also alleviates the pressure for data centers to be developed elsewhere in PWC in less suitable locations.

  • Tightly controlled, Limited FAR - the overall maximum intensity within Corridor is approximately 1/3 of the development intensity permitted in the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District (DCOZOD) and 1/2 of the development intensity of the adjacent Gainesville Crossing data center campus. 

Preservation and Transformation

The PWDG Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) text encourages and recommends the implementation of significant public benefits. Such benefits include:  

  • Additional protected natural resource open space within the Occoquan Watershed.

  •  Prioritizing the protection of riparian forest along major streams within the Occoquan Watershed, which would lead to increased riparian forest area along these major streams – nature’s “best practice” method of protecting water quality and streams.

  •  Establishing local park facilities and supporting the expansion of Conway-Robinson State Forest.

  • An extension of the County’s planned Catharpin Greenway linear natural habitat park and biking, hiking and equestrian trail network – from the western perimeter of the Corridor at Heritage Hunt, following Little Bull Run to the eastern perimeter of the Corridor.

  • Encouraging an “adopt-a-trail” program be established by data center owners, which could provide routine maintenance, clean up and advocacy for County recreational trails with the Corridor.

  • Enhancing cultural and environmental assets through the creation of new parks and a multi-purpose trail network, in a manner which establishes connections between Conway-Robinson State Forest, Manassas National Battlefield Park, the Catharpin Greenway and Catharpin Park

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