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February 23, 2018

First data center proposal public hearing Tuesday

Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval construct up to six data-center buildings on 234 acres between Remington and Lucky Hill roads.
Public Hearing
• Topic: Rezoning application for data center on 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road just northeast of Remington.

• Applicant: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc.

• Landowners: Remland LLC (Bill and Bob Springer of Fauquier); VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide electricity to project.

• Under roof: 1.5 million to 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet each.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Next: County board of supervisors, which has final authority, expects to conduct March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier’s planning commission Tuesday night will conduct a public hearing on a proposed data center complex just northeast of Remington.

Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval construct up to six data-center buildings on 234 acres between Remington and Lucky Hill roads.

The proposed change from residential to “Business Park” zoning also would extinguish 199 undeveloped home lots.

If constructed as proposed, Point One would build 1.5 million to 1.8 million square feet of space over five to seven years for one or multiple users.

The planning commission public hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Warren Green Building in downtown Warrenton.

> Documents at bottom of story

The commission makes land-use recommendations to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority.

The Remington Technology Park proposal could create up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 180 permanent, “highly skilled and well-paid, full-time jobs,” the company’s rezoning application states.

Point One estimates its investment at $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

The first of six proposed data center buildings — ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet — would represent a $250 million to $270 million investment, according to the company.

The supervisors conducted a Feb. 8 work session on the proposal. The planning commission received an introductory briefing Feb. 15.

Fauquier residents Bill and Bob Springer of Remland LLC and VCA LLC of Alexandria own the proposed data center site.

They also own an undeveloped 197-lot subdivision called Fox Haven near Bealeton — about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

Point One Holdings has a contract to buy the data center property.

The landowners contend the proposed Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping or reducing the $2.7 million cash “proffer” tied to the Fox Haven subdivision site, which lies about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

That cash proffer — about $14,700 per dwelling — applies to the 189 new home lots created as a result of the property’s 2003 rezoning from rural to residential use.

Under a revised Fox Haven proffer proposed almost two weeks ago, the developer would pay Fauquier $14,700 for each of the 197 homes. But, after the county issues occupancy permits “for a minimum of 200,000 square feet of data center space,” the cash proffer would drop to $3,072 per home.

That represents the maximum amount the county could expect to receive under Virginia’s new proffer law, which took effect on July 1, 2016.

Proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” according the application. “While the two related rezoning requests are required to be processed separately, they are essentially a joint rezoning application with each being dependent upon the other.”

Justifying the proposed Fox Haven amendment, the landowners note that the data center project’s tax payments would far exceed the loss of the cash proffer tied to the subdivision.

Additionally, they note that rezoning the data center site from residential to “Business Park” could erase millions of dollars in potential public service costs if the permitted 199 single-family homes got built at the edge of Remington. 

The landowners also want the Fox Haven rezoning amended to allow construction of 66 homes per year — twice the amount approved 15 years ago.

Because the planning commission has no role in the proposed changes to the 2003 proffers, Tuesday’s public hearing will be limited to the data center application.

The supervisors on March 8 expect to conduct public hearings on the data center and Fox Haven applications.

Remington Technology Park : Fauquier Planning Commission 2-27-2018 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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Bob Bessette · February 26, 2018 at 4:25 pm
As I have mentioned before, Tax breaks should not be used to subsidize utility/services Proffers. They will only increase over the life of the Data Center construction. Any "Tax Break" should be given to the taxable entity Who can then pay the landowners for their land. There is no way to guarantee that the land owners or the developers of the housing sites will not pass on an amount equal to the $14,700 proffer to the ultimate home owner and pocket the difference between that and the $3,072, as newly found profit at the potential expense of all the county residents.

While I will not be able to be at the public hearing, hopefully someone will follow the potential lost tax dollars and into whose pockets they flow based on whose is offering to trade "One in the Hand" (the proffers) for "Two in the Bush" (future potential tax revenue - if they are fully realized). The Proffer is a help to protect the cost of everyone's existing property taxes from services and utilities that will be demanded by the new home owners. A strategy to separate the Proffer consideration from the data center application is slick.

The Data Center Applications should Indicate how much electricity they will use and where it will come from. It could be more than what the whole county uses on a typical day. A commitment for 100% "Green Electricity" could help us all.

Robert Bessette
Warrenton, Virginia
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