Caroline supervisors reject proposed data center project — again

by | Jun 20, 2024 | ALLFFP, Caroline

Kevin Collins was all smiles after the Caroline County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night.

The Ruther Glen resident had been fighting a proposed data center campus approximately 1,000 feet from his home off Jericho Road since January 2023.  

The proposed 900-acre project was defeated twice by the county’s planning commission and once by the board of supervisors. 

It was resurrected again in August after Madison District Supervisor Clay Forehand called for reconsideration. 

But at the board’s most recent meeting, Forehand was the only supervisor to support an amendment to the comprehensive plan to expand the Carmel Church Growth Area west and establish the Mt. Airy Planned Innovation, Research and Technology area to permit data center development in the Jericho Road area. 

A motion to deny the amendment passed 5-1. Supervisors said there is plenty of land zoned industrial that can accommodate data centers without adding that location, which is west of Interstate 95 and along the North Anna River. 

“We have rezoned a number of parcels for industrial use that still have not produced any development,” Bowling Green District Supervisor Jeff Sili said. 

County Planning Director Leon Hughes noted that there are 1,848 acres of undeveloped land zoned for industrial use east of the interstate within the Carmel Church Growth Area. Last month, the board approved a data center project in Carmel Church Station. 

The county is also part of a regional effort to attract Amazon Web Services to construct data center campuses in the area. 

After the comprehensive plan was denied at the conclusion of a public hearing, the applicant, VALCO, represented by attorney Ann Cosby, withdrew its request to rezone the land from Rural Preservation to Planned Industrial Park. 

The property is owned by Litt Thompson of Thompson Family Office, an investment management firm in Richmond. Thompson also owns the land at Carmel Church Station that was associated with the proposed DC South smart city and train station. That project was approved in 2010 but has yet to come to fruition. 

In other business Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to construct new restrooms at Lowe-Massie Park in the Dawn area of the county. 

The board also approved the final $63.2 million budget for schools, with $17.5 million coming from the county’s general fund. The board appropriated an additional $141,145 in instructional funds to reach the required local effort to receive matching state funds. 

Share This