Residents Propose Guidelines for Safer Data Center Siting


NORTHERN VIRGINIA — Concerned residents from Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties have put forth a set of recommendations aimed at responsible data center siting to minimize the negative impact on local communities. The proposals, presented on Monday by three resident organizations—The HOA Roundtable of Northern Virginia, the Loudoun Coalition of Homeowner and Condominium Associations, and the Coalition to Protect Fauquier County—emphasize the need for data centers to maintain safe distances from residential areas, schools, and parks, as well as adhere to height and noise restrictions.

While the groups acknowledge that they do not oppose data centers outright, they raise valid concerns about the environmental, visual, and societal impacts arising from inadequate planning. Their six months of collaborative effort yielded several key recommendations, including siting data centers at least one-quarter mile away from residential zones and schools, limiting building height to 75 feet, ensuring 95% visual screening, and establishing noise limits of 50 decibels during the day and 40 at night if one-quarter mile setbacks are unattainable.

Representatives from the organizations noted that all three counties are currently engaged in task forces to review zoning regulations for data centers. They expressed varying levels of optimism regarding the adoption of their proposals.

The groups' advocacy efforts underscore the need for careful planning and community considerations in the development of data center projects. By working together, residents aim to protect their quality of life and prevent potential adverse effects resulting from the unchecked growth of data centers.

*Note: The original article has been condensed for clarity and coherence.*