County supervisors send controversial data center back to drawing board

The decision prompted a special meeting to be held next week

LEESBURG, Va - On Tuesday evening, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors decided an application for a controversial data center needed some adjustments.

A 750,000 square foot data center could come to Goose Creek, but in the meantime, the board voted to send the application back to the committee to make some changes.

The area is part of the county's transition policy area, and the location is causing a stir.

Chair Phyllis J. Randall said the board received 380 emails from people opposed to the facility, and many residents showed up to voice their opinions.

One speaker said the re-zoning would inhibit the space from acting as a transition between the suburban east and the rural west of the county.

"I can't see how a giant concrete data center would seamlessly blend into the surrounding area no matter how much you plant around it," said Zoe Gall, student, Mercer Middle School.

A selling point for the data center is tax revenue.

The company said the data center would generate $22 million in additional tax revenue each year, and some supervisors are on board.

"We do have a very healthy surplus this year - thank you data centers. Just kidding, but that is a significant contributor to it," Supervisor Matthew Letourneau, Dulles District.

Supervisor Tony Buffington said 89 percent of the people are against building the data center, and he intends to listen to them.

"It's about protecting western Loudoun. It's about stopping the encroachment on western Loudoun. It's about there has to be a line somewhere. I say it's right at the Greenway, where the line already is," said Buffington, Blue Ridge District.

A special meeting will be held on Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. to discuss the application further.

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