Owners of undeveloped residential land seeking a rezoning to business park to accommodate a data center have proposed a change in proffer language in a bid to win approval from the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.
Neighboring property owners Robert Springer and Timothy E. Rizer propose a reduction of a $14,730 per residential unit proffer in the Fox Haven subdivision to $3,072.82 per unit after occupancy permits are issued. The lower rate wouldn’t go into effect until at least 200,000 square ft. of data center space is built at what Is dubbed Remington Technology Park.
The technology park would be built on parcels separate from Fox Haven but the property owners are linking the issue of the proffers and the rezoning as one, each dependent on the other.
Up to six data center buildings measuring 240,000 to 310,000 square ft. in size are planned on a site off Lucky Hill Road near the planned Fox Haven single-family home subdivision.
Approximately 90 acres were zoned R-4 in 2003. The applicants agreed to the $14,730 proffer plus a limit on 33 home sales per year. The applicants now want to double that limit to 66 homes. Selling 33 homes yearly “severely hampers the ability of a builder to generate sales sufficient to justify the sales/construction infrastructure for a profitable sales operation,” the applicant’s statement of justification states.
The supervisors are expected to take up the rezoning and proffer issues at its March 8 meeting. The planning commission will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27. The commission won’t address the proffer issue since it doesn’t affect land use or density.
The submittal of the revised proffer language followed a work session the supervisors held Feb. 8 at which Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel said she was concerned about setting a precedent if the board accepted the original requested change that would have eliminated the proffered amount entirely.
Springer said the unusual amount in the revised proffer -- $3,072.82 – comes from the Tischler Bise formula used by the county to determine the actual impact cost of residential development on services such as schools, libraries, government, police, fire, water and sewer.
Springer noted he would be giving up 199 of 249 residential lots if the rezoning to business park is approved. The county would not be providing services to homes and would be gaining tax revenue from the business park. The county would realize $5 million by year 5 from the data center, according to the Tischler Bise analysis.
“We understood from the land owner from Day 1 that this is something he thought was fair and support Bob on that, but it really is his issue. We consider that a separate application,” said Colin Clish, vice president for development of Point One, the company developing the property should it be rezoned business park.
Clish added, “We like the characteristics of the site. It matches well with our business plan.” Is it the only site? “We think it’s one of the best in Northern Virginia. There are other sites that could work, but our focus is on this property and continuing our evaluation of its suitability. The rezoning is a big step in that process.”
Point One cited the availability of electrical power, water and sewer, fiber optics, proximity to U.S.15 and 29 and Dulles International Airport.
Fauquier County requires data centers to use recycled water for their cooling operations. Ideally, “100 percent of the cooling would come from greywater. We understand that likely there is not enough for the entire number of buildings” planned, Clish said. It’s possible that more than one manner of cooling would be used.
The buildout of the site would take five to seven years to complete. Trees will screen the buildings, a fence will surround the property, a walking trail will be built, and an archaeological study will be conducted prior to construction starting, They were discussed during the planning commission’s work session on the application on Feb. 15.
Reach James Ivancic at email@example.com.