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Citizens for Fauquier Conty Logo

Data Centers

Fauquier County's Greatest Threat

One of CFFC's highest priorities is minimizing the proliferation of data centers and the massive (and inevitable) power lines and substations required to support them.

We’ve watched Loudoun and Prince William swell with more than 100 million square feet of data centers in operation, but we are no longer sitting on the sidelines. Our key priority is to mitigate the threat of data center spread and particularly, making sure this industry doesn’t think they can have their way in Fauquier. 

Read below for information on Fauquier County's data center policies, CFFC's position on the issue and ways you can stay informed and get involved.

Fauquier County Data Center Guidelines

In December 2023, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors passed guidelines that limit data centers to two zoning districts: "Planned Commercial Industrial District" in Vint Hill, and "Business Park" - a 234-acre area north of Remington. 

 

The new policy includes the following:

  • Location: Data centers must be within one mile of existing electric transmission lines, and any new lines must be underground.

  • Scale: Data center buildings must be compatible in scale with the building's surroundings.

  • Height: Most data centers must be no more than 45 feet tall.

  • Compatibility: Data centers cannot be near residential land, parks, schools, medical care facilities, scenic locations, or registered historic locations.

  • Buffer yards: Natural areas should be preserved and used as buffers, or data centers should be visually obscured or screened from contiguous properties zoned commercially or planned for commercial use.

View the full guidelines here in which CFFC had the opportunity to weigh in on and supports.

CFFC'S Position

We remain committed to protecting Fauquier from the same fate as Loudoun and Prince William Counties. We believe Fauquier County already has sufficient land zoned for data centers and that additional rezoning is unnecessary. The wellbeing of communities should be carefully considered in any data center or land use actions.

CFFC's efforts to oppose data centers include: 

  • Educating the public;

  • Reviewing all related proposals and zoning issues; and, 

  • Engaging with developers and officials regarding how and where data centers should be built 

Among other successes and conservation efforts, we've: 

  • Initiated lawsuits to overturn the approval of Amazon's data center in Warrenton;

  • Initiated lawsuits to hold the Town of Warrenton accountable for failing to live up to its responsibility for transparency under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA);

  • Joined with twenty-four organizations in Amicus briefs in support of our VFOIA appeal; and,

  • Undertaken major fundraising efforts and experienced unprecedented support from existing and new members.

Remington and Catlett

See our informational two-pager exposing the “bullseye” on Remington and Catlett.

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New Power Lines Proposed for
Fauquier County

Our regional electric power grid operator, PJM, has proposed alternative routes for high-voltage power lines.

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Fauquier County Supervisors to Consider Data Center Zoning Amendment

The Fauquier Board of Supervisors on Thursday will be asked to consider approving a text amendment to the county zoning ordinance that could make it more difficult for large data centers to be built in Vint Hill’s Planned Commercial Industrial Development District, or PCID.

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Read the letter CFFC sent to the Board of Supervisors in support of the zoning amendment here.

Amazon's Data Center in Warrenton

On February 14 2023, after months of opposition and countless hours of verbal comment, the Warrenton Town Council voted 4-3 to approve Amazon's SUP application - setting in motion Amazon's plan to build a 220,000 square-foot data center on a 42-acre lot adjacent to Country Chevrolet in Warrenton. 

  

Serious questions remain about the lack of transparency surrounding the application and the council's dealings with Amazon. The vote was not the end, but the start of an even more robust effort to protect our town and county.

 

CFFC filed a lawsuit on behalf of town residents who will be directly impacted by the Amazon data center. As of mid-April 2024, the Town of Warrenton is reviewing the fourth draft of Amazon’s site development plan for this data center. Three previous versions have been rejected as incomplete and we await the town’s determination on the fourth.

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS

We released eight unedited video segments from the February 14 Warrenton Town Council public hearing where council members voted 4-3 to approve the Amazon data center. Get easy access to footage so you can learn how and why each member voted…"In Their Own Words"

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