Officials in Warrenton have recommended the town council change zoning rules to allow an AWS data center to be built in the Northern Virginia town.

Fauquier Now reports that the planning commission this week voted in favor of recommending the town council approve a zoning ordinance amendment to allow data centers on industrial property in Fauquier County.

However, building a data center would still require special use permit approval from the town council. The proposal will go before the town council in August.

“What we’re really being asked is whether the town can consider a data center,” said Commissioner James Lawrence. “There are some very strong financial reasons to consider it. What we’re really doing is saying should the town consider this, and I think we should.”

Last month AWS told local officials it was hoping to buy 41 acres in the town for a new data center. However, the company said the town would have to first remove restrictions that prevent data centers from being built in the area. Warrenton’s existing zoning ordinance makes no provision for data centers.

Northern Virginia land use and zoning attorney John Foote previously told the commission that his client – Amazon Web Services – has a contract to purchase property owned by Weissberg Investment Corp as soon as the town makes the zoning change, adding that AWS is “very interested” in the town.

AWS has a data center on the DoD’s nearby Warrenton Training Center campus, built in 2016.

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