Posts Tagged ‘Envision Loudoun’

BOS votes to place 750,000 sq ft data center next to Goose Creek

Last night the Board of Supervisors voted, against staff recommendations and strong opposition by citizens, 5-4 to deny a motion by Supervisor Geary Higgins to disapprove the True North data center on the banks of Goose Creek. Supervisors Ron Myer, Matt Letourneau, Kristen Umstattd, Suzanne Volpe, and Koran Saines voted to place the data center, in undisturbed farmland, upstream of the public water intake along Goose Creek, setting a precedent for industrial development of the entire Transition Area. A second motion by Supervisor Ralph Buona, to send the proposal back to the Transportation and Land Use Committee (TLUC) to address outstanding issues with the proposal, passed 5-4. That motion was supported by Higgins, Phyllis Randall, Tony Buffington, and Saines. The TLUC meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 13, before the BOS public hearing. This will enable the BOS to vote at the first rather than the second January board meeting, and that it will probably go back to the full BOS for a final vote on Tuesday, January 2. Buona, Higgins, Buffington, and Randall made strong arguments in favor of listening to constituents, protecting the Transition Area, suspending such zoning changes until after the Envision Loudoun process was complete, and giving extra weight to issues that directly affect opposing supervisors’ districts. Those arguments did not work. Letourneau forwarded the “Ashburn is full of data centers and my constituents hate them” argument for putting the “hated” structures in the Transition Area instead (Higgins’s district). Umstattd repeated the assertion that the revenue from the center would go to the schools (which the Board of Supervisors has repeatedly declined to fully fund with any revenue sources for years). Volpe and Saines made no comments to explain their votes in favor of the data center. Various speakers at the public comments periods in the past several months have focused on the legal and planning precedent this decision sets for Loudoun, but Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition Chair Al Van Huyck focused on another planning precedent: Why should developers pay $1 million an acre for a data center site in “data center alley” when vastly cheaper land (e.g., the True North site) can gain approval elsewhere? That is to say, any site near power lines in rural areas of the county may conceivably be scouted for lucrative, potential data center sites. Because these centers, with few employees, do not add much traffic to roads, few transportation improvements are needed for such large industrial sites. Other speakers, supervisors, and Chair Randall, addressed the revenue and “lack of a single large parcel” assertions. The recent Google announcement of the purchase of two parcels for two large data centers (which will roughly cover the area of the True North venture), a number of other currently available sites, and the possibility of building vertically, are reasons to doubt the "no available sites" argument. In addition, Economic Development’s Buddy Rizer stated that a number of other new data centers will be constructed in the coming year. (It was Rizer, however, who "fast-tracked" this application for the Transition Area location.)

BOS votes to place 750,000 sq ft data center next to Goose Creek

Last night the Board of Supervisors voted, against staff recommendations and strong opposition by citizens, 5-4 to deny a motion by Supervisor Geary Higgins to disapprove the True North data center on the banks of Goose Creek. Supervisors Ron Myer, Matt Letourneau, Kristen Umstattd, Suzanne Volpe, and Koran Saines voted to place the data center, in undisturbed farmland, upstream of the public water intake along Goose Creek, setting a precedent for industrial development of the entire Transition Area. A second Read More →

Citizens’ Envision Loudoun public input summary

Members of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition have read and carefully categorized all of the public comments from the first series of Envision Loudoun public input sessions. Read the summary here. Please continue to push your supervisors to support the vision that CITIZENS have articulated. County planners (who are writing the plan) continue to state that thousands of new homes are “needed” in the Transition Area; citizens instead support housing growth along the Silver Line metro stations. Please Read More →

Citizens launch Envision Loudoun app

Have a few moments when you are waiting for something to happen to glance at your phone and find out what you can do to improve Loudoun’s Future? Citizens in the group Transition Area Alliance have launched a free app, Save Loudoun, that helps citizens navigate through the county’s comprehensive plan update process, with the goal of helping citizens ensure that their voices are heard above all other interests. The app is simple, readable, and guides citizens through the process Read More →

Attend Envision Loudoun public input sessions in June

The second opportunity for citizens to shape Loudoun County’s Comprehensive Plan for its next 25 years commences on June 5. The final document will affect all aspects of our daily lives for the next decade: our commutes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our leisure time–in short, our quality of life. PLEASE invest some time in shaping your county’s future, to make sure the plan is specific enough to preserve what we love and improve what we don’t. Download this flyer for Read More →

Supervisors vote to approve ‘Envision’ Vision and Goals

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the Envision Loudoun Vision and Goals statement at its May 18 business meeting. You can read the updated document here. An article published May 19 in the Loudoun Times-Mirror on the vote notes that Supervisors opted to remove area-specific language in the vision statement (“rural, suburban, urban, transition area”)–language encouraged by citizens concerned about encroaching development pressure–and substituted more general language in the final statement: “Loudoun County continues to flourish as Read More →

Coalition creates Envision Loudoun public comments database

The Coalition has requested and received the complete public comments on the future of Loudoun that citizens provided in late 2016 and early this year, and will be conducting a full analysis of the many public comments contained in the now-accessible database. We have read through them all (nearly 4,800), and have some early observations: (1) Housing and growth is a major issue – many call for more controlled growth, more quality control on new projects, more urban style housing Read More →

Envision Loudoun “Foundations” report, input summary released

The Loudoun County planning department has released document representing the first phase of the Comprehensive Plan Update now underway. The Envision Loudoun Foundations Report is a characterization by the planning department of current issues in Loudoun that the plan update should consider. The Comp Plan Stakeholders Committee received the plan just prior to its February 21, 2017, meeting, along with a summary of comments provided by citizens at the public input sessions in late 2016 and early 2017, in an Read More →

 
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