The final hearing for the PW digital gateway is scheduled for next month. Democratic opponent Abigail Spanberger said she has engaged with local leaders on the matter.

MANASSAS, Va. – The final public hearing for the controversial PW digital gateway in Prince William County is scheduled for next month.

The debate over economic recovery versus protecting the rural landscape in the region belongs to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Despite concerns from opponents about what data centers can do to neighborhoods, the planning commission approved last month to move the plan forward.

After continued rallies and public comments from both sides, Supervisor Yesli Vega said she plans to vote against the project, which would transform 2,100 acres of land along Pageland Avenue to accommodate 27 million square feet of entertainment centers. data.

“It’s going to be no,” Vega, who is running to win the 7th congressional district, told WUSA9 at a campaign event in Orange, Virginia. “We’ve put a lot of money into trying to designate an overlay district where the data centers belong and where we already have the infrastructure to build. What’s being proposed right now is going to transform Prince William County forever. I don’t think data centers should move out of the overlay district. We have an overlay district for a reason.

One of the main arguments for approving more data centers is tax revenue. Supporters include Prince William County Public School At-Large President Dr. Babur Lateef, who noted that school systems earn up to $50 million a year in revenue from existing data centers. .

Many community members and environmental groups pushed back. Some have even begun recall efforts against council chairwoman Ann Wheeler and Gainesville supervisor Pete Candland.

They worry about the consequences of large developments on the rural landscape, including concerns about water quality, noise and access to electricity.

“We have a lot of people involved,” Vega said. “We have people like Tim Kaine and Mark Warner sounding the alarm and telling our supervisory board to slow down because we have to think about water impacts, we have to think about noise impacts and I think we have to be diligent about how we move forward and make sure we’ve done all of these studies before we decide to build these data centers and transform Prince William County forever.”

Vega’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Virginia, said she’s also being careful.

While the decision is ultimately up to local government, the newly redesigned congressional district now includes parts of Prince William County.

“There are certainly a lot of questions to consider around the environmental impact, the impact of the use of electricity that installing data centers in Prince William County would bring,” Spanberger said. . “I continued to engage with local community leaders to make sure I hear all sides of the discussion. Ultimately, it’s a local decision. But it’s one from my point of view, people move methodically and thoughtfully towards a decision and taking into account the major impacts.”

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