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County board votes to expand overlay district to accommodate a new data center in Gainesville

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Prince William is among the counties with the largest concentration of data centers in the commonwealth. The huge, windowless, box-shaped buildings house computer systems critical for running the internet. Several have been constructed on Va. 234.

A new data center proposed for the Linton Hall Road corridor in Gainesville cleared a major hurdle Tuesday. 

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, April 6, to expand the county’s data overlay district to accommodate plans for a 170-acre data center known as the Hunter Property. Much of the proposal is already be located within the data center overlay, but not all. 

The expansion was requested by Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, whose district includes the project, at the board’s March 2 meeting.

For the project to proceed, the board needs to approve a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning allowing 196 acres currently zoned for agriculture uses to be rezoned for industrial uses. A hearing date for the project has not been set for the Planning Commission or Board of County Supervisors. 

The data center would be located next to Piney Branch Elementary School on Linton Hall Road and adjacent to several suburban neighborhoods. 

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

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