To the Editor:
When I moved to Prince William County in 1967 with my wife and newborn, Pageland Lane was a gravel road. I could not imagine the change the next 54 years would bring. I thought it was wonderful and hoped it would never change!
From the road view, people may think very little has changed, but, landowners have been forced to accept the power lines, gas lines, and large suburban housing. My small parcel has always been (since 1975) dead center in the middle of a planned parkway. The new neighbors were great, but the area had forever been changed!
In the mid-eighties I was an elected member of the Board of County Supervisors. I did my best to help Prince William retain its Rural/Farming character. The pressure to develop was enormous. The Washington, DC area was growing jobs, but not all could afford to live in Fairfax; cheaper land was in great demand. The county quickly became a “bedroom community” and a “drive through” commute for people working in the city.
Areas I never thought would sustain high density housing are now fully developed, the pressure on the rural areas has not let up. These high-density communities absorbed what had been beautiful horse farms. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the county still faces an affordable housing shortfall.
The suggested data center initiative makes the most sense for this area. Prince William County is not going to stop its growth or progress. Pageland Lane has been ripe for such development for many years. It is a matter of when, how and by whom, not if it will be developed.
Prince William citizens are being given a gift. Instead of increasing demands on our existing limited infrastructure and residential tax payers by other development options, this is the opportunity to create a positive net revenue generator. This four-mile stretch of two-laned road can become an economic driver for all of Northern Virginia. The data centers are the absolute best option for our county.
I recommend the BOCS and Planning Commission approve the proposed PW Digital Gateway.