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Opinions » Poll

Should Warrenton change its zoning ordinance to permit data centers on industrial land?

The town council has begun discussing the possibility for vacant property along the Eastern Bypass and the Route 17 Spur.

Disclaimer: This poll represents an unscientific sampling of users.
Select one of the following options, then click the "vote" button.
(312 Votes)
Member Comments (6)
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Jim Griffin
January 26, 2018 at 10:55 am
If there are to be conditions, one might be to require Green electric use and on-site generation (wind, solar, micro-hydro) to alleviate any burden on our grid.

Not saying these Green sources are sufficient, but they lower the hit on the infrastructure.

Electric transmission affects this county. Our citizens want it minimized.

Fortunately, efficiency is driving down data center power needs; Nonetheless, it will for the foreseeable future remain a serious issue.

Data centers are good neighbors, kinda like the Vint Hill air traffic control center. Good jobs, clean work, high value.
January 26, 2018 at 10:44 am
I think I'd rather see it added with a Special Use Permit as opposed to By-right. This was each application would get public input as opposed to just meeting the zoning and town ordinance requirements
Jim Griffin
January 23, 2018 at 7:51 am
Popular wisdom in this county is that people are the problem, and that we need to protect our farms from people. Traced backed to the source, this is a pronouncement from the Rockefeller Foundation that did a study that says people cost much more money to support than do cows and crops and companies, but that study is flawed in its assumptions. I reviewed it and the claims are unsupported by the evidence and reasoning, which fails to assess the benefits population brings.

Besides, it is a terrible assumption for government to make: Citizens are the problem to be avoided.

Quite the opposite is true: We never stand taller nor do ourselves more good than when we educate, house, clothe, feed and properly raise the next generation. Every dime we invest returns as dollars.
January 18, 2018 at 6:02 am
BJ - The job thing isn't as simple as you state. It isn't like as if a new business (data center or otherwise) only provides jobs to our residents if it hires our residents. Let's assume that the data center employs a few dozen people, but none of them were "local hires." Even in this case, those new workers will add jobs to our county. They will shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants, and fill up at our gas stations. The tax revenue that they add to the county will be used by the local government to hire more teachers, or police officers, or bus drivers. Or it will be used to build a new library or park, creating other jobs.

The short story is that anytime new jobs are added to a region, whether local hires are used or not, the new money added to the community will strengthen the local economy and improve employment conditions for the local people.

Others have pointed out that the number of jobs isn't significant compared to other industries that could use that land. That is true, at least for the moment. On the flip side, how likely is it that there will still be jobs in running data centers in the future? I would put a heavy bet that those jobs are more secure than many others that could be automated by changing technology in the next few years. As a county we make the mistake of thinking too much about right now. We need to develop a better vision for what the future economy is going to look like, and how we can make that work for us.
January 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm
Will that is a tough one, data centers = jobs, only if they use local hires. If they bring in their own people, well them more congestion on our roads and schools, etc. Along the Eastern Bypass/Route 17 Spur...has anyone considered the people that live on both sides of the Spur? Their voices were not heard when the Bypass/Spur was built. How about taking it to the TimberFence Parkway and give the residents on the Spur a break?

Blaine Johnson
January 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm
Data center = jobs = tax base , good for Fauquier County
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