Prince William County, Virginia, to Evaluate Expansion of Data Center Overlay District

May 19, 2021


  • Prince William County, Virginia, Comprehensive Plan Update

On May 18, 2021, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors took action to authorize a consultant study to evaluate expanding the existing Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District generally along high transmission power lines. The Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District was created for the purpose of promoting development of data centers within areas of Prince William County where existing infrastructure could adequately support the proposed use.

The study will also consider changes to planning and zoning guidance and appropriate construction standards. This district continues the county’s efforts to attract and advance high-tech industrial development while limiting negative impacts to communities. This study is an opportunity to engage with the county to help ensure the regulatory framework is appropriate to the growing demand and practical development considerations specific to this industry.

As noted in McGuireWoods’ April 14, 2021, alert, “Development of Dark Fiber Optic Networks Accelerates Data Center Alley Connectivity,” Northern Virginia, including Prince William County, is a focus for the data centers industry, deepening the region’s interconnectivity to the Virginia Beach cable landing station and, in turn, providing access to the subsea, intercontinental high-speed internet cables running to Europe and South America. Prince William County will hire a consultant to perform the study, which likely will take six to eight months.

McGuireWoods has a team of attorneys and professionals dedicated to proactively addressing issues and opportunities in this growing industry. We are happy to discuss the potential scope of the overlay district or other related regulatory matters.