In the early morning hours of July 21st, 2021, the Democrat-controlled Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted to initiate a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) to study the placement of a data center on portions of the Manassas Battlefield within the Rural Crescent.
The plan, self-styled by beneficiaries as the “PWC Digital Gateway” would remove 802 acres from the Rural Crescent, including 107 located within the core of Manassas Battlefield for the building of up to 21,000,000 square feet of data centers. The 802 acres lies entirely outside of the overlay district carefully created by the county several years back for the placement of data centers.
Manassas Battlefield Park Superintendent. Brandon Bies made it as clear as possible that placing a data center atop hallowed grounds of the nation’s first civil war battle was not a prudent idea to pursue.
The Comprehensive Plan Amendment was approved by the Board majority over the objections of the district supervisor representing the area, Pete Candland. Along with Supervisor Candland, Supervisors Lawson and Vega concurred with the Manassas Battlefield Superintendent’s advice. While Supervisors Angry, Bailey, Boddye, Franklin, and Wheeler held it in disregard and voted for the CPA. Prince William County’s Planning Office also supported the initiation.