trees felled at data center site

A contractor hired by Amazon Web Services has cut down hundreds of trees at the Blackwell Road site in Warrenton slated for a new data center. 

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Amazingly, Mr. Cureton would state that what has gone on at Blackwell Ave. is not Land Disturbance since "the trees were not removed." The Warrenton Zoning Ordinance (Article 12 - Definitions) says otherwise: Land-Disturbing Activity: Any land change which may result in the alteration or removal of the Town's Natural Landscape, including trees and woodlands, that potentially changes its runoff characteristics and that might impact the natural waterways within the Town through the erosion or movement of sediment into town and state waterways or onto neighboring lands." I would say that cutting trees and forests constitutes altering the natural landscapes, whether removed or not. It is equally clear that cutting trees accelerates stormwater runoff, which drives erosion. It is amateur hour at Warrenton RFD when staff cannot read their ordinances and begin improvising to satisfy the developer, not protect the public. The ugly truth is that the removal of nearly nine acres of the respectable forest now assures that residents of Oak Springs, Highland, and North Rock now will be able to hear and see Amazon's monstrosity. In their rush to cut these trees, they have guaranteed that the communities around Amazon will never forget who voted for the SUP during the next election cycle.

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