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Joint Statement on Impact of May 8th Comprehensive Plan Work Session Actions On Loudoun's Data Centers

LOUDOUN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL
 
JOINT STATEMENT ON IMPACT OF MAY 8TH COMPREHENSIVE PLAN WORK SESSION ACTIONS ON LOUDOUN’S DATA CENTER COMMUNITY

 Through the sustained efforts of our government and business leaders over the past decade, Loudoun County has distinguished itself as a global technology center and THE best place to build and expand data centers and other technology infrastructure businesses. A large part of Loudoun’s pro-technology, pro-business brand is due to the welcoming environment and regulatory predictability it extends to data centers who have invested in the County and those looking to locate or expand here.
 
As you know, data center employees live and work in the County, and they are vested stakeholders in the County’s success, in the strength of our workforce and in the strong quality of our public school system.  The data center community supports efforts to further grow and diversify Loudoun County’s business community. In fact, the data center sector has been a driver in attracting and locating firms of all sizes to the County where they support, supply, construct, maintain and service data centers and other key business sectors. Data centers also contribute considerable tax revenue to help fund the County, its public schools and other priorities. The workforce they hire, develop and train helps power other businesses in our ecosystem.
 
We are concerned that actions taken by the Board of Supervisors during the May 8th Comprehensive Plan Work Session, and the tone and rhetoric used during the discussions, reflect a deviation in Loudoun’s previous support for the data center sector and a departure from the regulatory predictability that is synonymous with Loudoun’s brand. 
 
The County appears to be on a path of singling out Loudoun’s largest industry sector and increasing regulatory requirements compared to other uses. By designating data centers as a conditional use, rather than a core use, the Board of Supervisors introduces new uncertainty for landowners and risks politicizing many individual land use decisions.  Moreover, we are concerned by the Board’s 4-3 vote to insert unclear, undefined and ambiguous language related to design guidelines in the Suburban Industrial Place Type,  and we are still seeking trying to determine what the language means and how it will impact Loudoun’s business community.
 
We very much hope the Board of Supervisors and County staff will quickly assess the full impact of the actions taken and the uncertainty they introduced.
 
We believe reconsideration of these actions is warranted.