County Board Supports Burying Power Line
Prince William Supervisors Unanimously Pass Resolution
On Tuesday, August 4, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution aimed at the "Protection of Private Property, Historical Resources and Commercial Interests from Potential Negative Impacts of New High Voltage Overhead Transmission Lines".
The resolution, introduced by Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, conveys to the State Corporation Commission the Board's position on routing options for proposed power lines that would be necessary to facilitate the entry of a large data center in to the western end of Prince William County.
Along with conveying the Board's position on the routing of the proposed power lines, the resolution also declares the Board's intent "to immediately initiate a zoning text amendment to incorporate appropriate zoning requirements for data centers which would address the infrastructure necessary to support such uses and the potential impacts to other properties."
Members of the Board will seek to eliminate the current "by-right" zoning designation for data centers through the introduction of the zoning text amendment. Currently data centers may locate to
all non-residential zoning districts, except the Rural Business District (B-3) and any cases that might have specifically excluded the use through a proffer or condition.
Recently, Northern Virginia surpassed New York as the top data center market in the country. At the end of 2014, it was estimated that the total Northern Virginia market (both tenant and enterprise) was near 5.2 million square feet - almost half of the total square footage is located in Prince William County. At the beginning of 2015 total capital investment in Prince William County's 22 data center projects was estimated to be nearly $4 billion.