The 7.5 million sq ft data center proposal in Virginia's King George County still hasn't been approved, even after a seven-and-a-half hour-long County meeting.
Birchwood Power Partners are looking to develop an 869-acre data center complex for use by Amazon in the county, a proposal that involves rezoning several land parcels from agricultural to industrial, a change in its Comprehensive Plan, and extending the borders of light industrial development to land adjacent to the Rappahannock River.
On Tuesday evening, members of the King George Board of Supervisors converged to discuss the project in a meeting that ran until 2:30 am and didn't reach any conclusion.
According to reports by the Free Lance-Star, the meeting was so busy that some audience members had to listen from the hallway.
The primary outcome of the meeting seems to be that the county is not yet ready to approve the development.
Supervisor Cathy Binder recommended Birchwood's attorney, Charlie Payne, that the company ought to hold a town hall to enable residents to air their questions about the development.
Another Supervisor, T. C. Collins, identified an issue with the revenue figures presented by Birchwood which suggested that each million sq ft of data center space would generate $19.5m in taxes for the county, which Collins stated was off by about $2.3 million according to the county's current tax rates.
Questions were also raised by residents regarding if the data centers were used by the federal government, who would be exempt from taxes, and how this would impact revenue.
Additional concerns have been presented regarding the data center development's impact on farmland, water, and the rural way of life.
Former Supervisor Jeff Bueche, however, reminded attendees that the county had set low tax rates for data centers for a reason. "It’s not that they’re asking to come to King George, we begged for this to come to King George. This is critical for future economic development."
King George's Board of Supervisors meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month, meaning the next opportunity for discussion won't be till September 5.