Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A Weekly Roundup of Public Policy News


by Danielle Finley, Associate Director of Political Engagement

Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of public policy issues and headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth, and Capitol Hill.

By NATHANIEL CLINE, Virginia Mercury 

Virginia’s latest spending plan includes efforts to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to a prominent transportation agency in Northern Virginia, toll relief in Hampton Roads and highway widening along a stretch of Interstate 81 in Southwest Virginia.  


The first Missing Middle case to be heard in Arlington Circuit Court was dismissed last week, but legal fees in another lawsuit against the county continue to balloon. The dismissed lawsuit related to a pair of planned six-plexes in Alcova Heights, approved after the Expanded Housing Option changes. A judge struck the suit down on Friday “due to technical defects,” Zachary Williams, an attorney for developer Classic Cottages, told ARLnow. … This news comes as attorney fees from a more expansive lawsuit against EHO have mushroomed in recent months. 


More than 70 people rallied outside a data center in Reston on Sunday against data center expansion demonstrators are calling “harmful” and “unchecked.” “The data center industry is tricky and well-funded,” Alexandria resident Tyler Ray said into a megaphone during the afternoon rally. A data center and electrical substation are set to be built less than 250 feet from some residences in Ray’s housing development, he told 7News. Because the project proposal is permitted “by right,” it can be built without a public hearing if the developer follows county regulations and doesn’t request any special exceptions. 

By JILL PALERMO, Prince William Times 

Prince William County’s data center alley is likely to stretch into Prince William County’s mid-section in the coming years as a result of the board of supervisors’ vote Tuesday to approve the controversial Mid-County Industrial Park. In a 5-3 vote, the supervisors voted to approve a rezoning that would allow three 90- and 95-foot-tall data centers on about 64 acres just north of the intersection of Va. 234 and Minnieville Road. It will be the second planned data center complex in the mid-county area. The first, on land formerly owned by Parson’s Farm, recently sold to Amazon for $218 million or $2.4 million an acre. 


The process will address issues identified since the adoption of the 2019 plan, as well as ones identified during the Zoning Ordinance rewrite process. There have been multiple amendments made to the plan over the past five years, including changes to the Airport Impact Overlay District, Rt. 15 North Widening and Safety Improvements, and Red Hill Community comprehensive plan amendments. 

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