New Sugarloaf Alliance Petition:
The Sugarloaf Alliance has posted a new petition at change.org following the County Council’s rejection of the Overlay last month. Thanks for signing it ASAP - a new data center application is in front of the Planning Commission now. The petition requests that Frederick County pause approvals for data center development pending 1) the county’s Data Centers Workgroup final report and 2) passage of state-of-the-art industry regulations by the County Council. You’ll remember that - in their Overlay “no” vote last month - the Council majority felt it was premature to eliminate the Sugarloaf area for data center sites because the Workgroup hasn’t completed their report. If county officials believe that’s true, surely it’s also premature to actually approve data center sites before regulations are finalized.
The Sugarloaf Alliance’s petition language echoes that of two letters sent by the Smarter Growth Alliance to County Executive Jessica Fitzwater requesting such a pause. Read the Frederick News Post coverage here.
Here is the text of the Sugarloaf Alliance petition. Click here to sign it at change.org.
"WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, support a temporary moratorium or pause on data center site plan review and/or approval until the County’s Data Centers Workgroup has made its recommendations and the County has passed a revised data center ordinance spelling out state-of-the-art criteria.
"The Data Centers Workgroup, appointed by the Frederick County Executive "to examine existing laws and other issues related to this relatively new and rapidly changing industry,” continues their work. At the same time, we are seeing continued county action on data center development. A four-building data center site at Quantum Loophole is scheduled for a public meeting January 10, 2024, with potential for approvals prior to updated regulations.
"Data centers are unique because no other industry has the potential for cumulatively negative impacts on the county in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gas generation, water consumption, wastewater production, harmful noise and air pollution.
"The Quantum Loophole site also is unique as a brownfield site that requires compliance with the State-approved environmental covenant, which already has been violated.
"We believe this moratorium is necessary to ensure public health, safety, and well-being in Frederick County.
The photo we posted at change.org shows a data center in Loudoun County, VA.