Fauquier County's Board Implements New Data Center Development Policy Guidance

Venable LLP

Venable LLP

On December 14, 2023, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors adopted policy guidance for data center development. The Data Center Development Policy limits where data centers can be established and regulates various aspects of their development process. The Fauquier Times has characterized it as one of the "strictest in Northern Virginia—and possibly the entire state."

Under the policy, data center applicants will be expected to "demonstrate that the location, size and height of buildings, structures, walls and fences and the nature and extent of screening, buffering and landscaping are such that the Data Center use will not hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent or nearby land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof."

The policy specifically covers siting criteria, site design, building design, utilities, and public involvement for any data center application. Key provisions of the policy include the following:

  • Restricting data centers to specific zoning districts, namely the "Planned Commercial Industrial District" and "Business Park" zones
  • Locating data centers no further than one mile from existing electric transmission lines and undergrounding any new lines
  • Ensuring the scale of data center buildings will be compatible in scale with the building's surroundings
  • Limiting the maximum building height to 45 feet

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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