Photo_News_Devlin deferred_protest outside meeting.jpg

A Bristow resident speaks in opposition to the Devlin Technology Park during a press conference held outside the James J. McCoart Administration Building ahead of the supervisors' Feb. 7 meeting.

Prince William County planning director Mark Buenavista

Mark Buenavista resigned from the county's top planning post only about three weeks after taking the job. His deputy planning director resigned earlier this week.

Meika Daus

Meika Daus, Prince William County's deputy planning director, presents the controversial Devlin Technology Park to the supervisors on Feb. 7.

This map highlights the growing footprint of data centers in Prince William County as the board of supervisors weighs a controversial proposal to create the 2,100-acre Prince William Digital Gateway. The corridor, adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield Park and in the protected rural crescent, could make the county the largest data center hub in the United States, surpassing Loudoun County. 

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(4) comments


Another recent planning office resignation was senior planner Bryce Barrett. He was the lead planner for I-66/29 Technology Park when that extremely controversial project was approved in Dec 2021.

After Dec 2021 he was working on the PW Digital Gateway CPA. In 2022 he left the planning office and moved to a different department. It should be noted that the I-66/29 Technology Park data center proposal ended up going into closed session with the county attorney because of improprieties - but Supervisors approved anyway.

Maybe Mr. Barrett found a better opportunity elsewhere. Or maybe going from the controversy of I-66/29 Technology Park to the PW Digital Gateway was like going from the frying pan into the fire and he chose to leave instead.


If it is about violating the AIPC Code of Ethics, is there a mechanism to find out what the planner objected to? How would it protect the public interest to resign if the public still doesn't know what is going on? Are there FOIA requests that would help? There's a lot at stake here.


The Prince William County Planning Office is obviously in turmoil. Here are some questions that require answers:

* Why did former Planning Director Parag Agrawal resign abruptly after less than a year on the job?

* Why did Deputy County Executive for Community Development Rebecca Horner remain dual-hatted in a compromised role as acting Planning Director for nearly fifteen months when workload clearly warranted hiring a permanent successor?

* Why was Ms. Horner so averse to transparency in the planning process? Her office declined to reply to a July 5, 2022 letter from an attorney for the Gainesville Citizens for Smart Growth expressing concern over her office’s obstruction of legitimate citizen inquiries and withheld critical information from the public in advance of the September 14th Planning Commission hearing on the Prince William Digital Gateway.

* The American Institute of Certified Planners has a detailed Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct which calls on members to faithfully serve the public interest and resist improper influences. Are we confident the Planning Office has been strictly adhering to those provisions?


In addition to the resignations mentioned in this article -- In November 2022, after the substantial irregularities that took place at the Planning Commission meeting for the PW Digital Gateway, Planning Commissioner Perry (Occoquan District) resigned. He bravely abstained instead of voting to approve the PW Digital Gateway CPA - even though it meant going against the Democratic bloc that was voting in favor. About two weeks later he resigned.

The AIPC Code of Ethics states "Our primary obligation as planners and active participants in the planning process is to serve the public interest". Every PWC planner should either speak up or resign because as this ugly process gets more and more exposed - it's going to be their reputation at stake.

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