Quick Update: Things to Know in Culpeper

The following text was sent out via email on Mar. 28, 2024. Sign up for PEC email alerts →

Dear Supporter,

Spring is upon us! I am very excited to share a few upcoming opportunities to get involved locally, whether that’s to learn more about the deep history of Culpeper or to enjoy what a beautiful place it is.

“Park Day” Set for April 6, 2024

Each year, history enthusiasts, community-minded citizens, families, scout groups, ROTC units, and others come together for Park Day: a day when thousands of volunteers gather at battlefields and historic sites across the nation to help clean up and maintain our cultural heritage and historic sites. This year on Park Day, Culpeper has three exciting volunteer opportunities, at Cedar Mountain Battlefield, the Brandy Station Graffiti House, and at Historic Salubria, hosted by our partners at the American Battlefield Trust and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Activities start at 9 a.m. on Apr. 6 at all sites and include repairing the split-rail fence, trail maintenance and cleaning cemeteries of winter debris, among other activities. Participants can also take a special tour or explore the history of the site independently. Park Day can be used to fulfill the service requirements associated with scout groups, student organizations, training corps programs or school systems. 

This year, Park Day is even more significant here in Culpeper as we prepare for the grand opening of the new Virginia State Park at Culpeper Battlefields, expected this summer. Please keep in mind that some historic sites may request that you sign up for Park Day in advance so that they can have adequate supplies for volunteers.

Town of Culpeper in Comprehensive Ordinance Overhaul

The Town of Culpeper is working on a comprehensive overhaul of its Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances (Chapters 22 and 27 of the Town Code). These ordinances are key guides for future land use and development in the Town. Zoning and subdivision regulations control where certain land uses (residential or industrial, for example) can go, how these sites are laid out and designed, and other characteristics that help establish the Town’s overall character.

If you care about how your community develops in the future, such as the proximity of certain types of commercial development to homes, parks, open space, and schools, and more, then you should take the opportunity to weigh in.

Visit the Town of Culpeper’s Planning and Zoning webpage to learn more about how this overhaul will affect your property. We encourage you also to submit feedback to the Town here.

New Data Centers on Culpeper’s Horizon

Red Ace Capital Management is seeking to rezone 17+ acres of Rural Area to Light Industrial at the intersection of Germanna Highway and Zachary Taylor Highway. This site is within the Culpeper Technology Zone, which offers incentives for data centers and is adjacent to land previously rezoned to allow data centers by Red Ace. On March 13, the Planning Commission forwarded this application to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval.

However, there is still a general lack of information about how Red Ace hopes to develop. The applicant has not provided a maximum size for any data centers or detailed how adjacent homes would be shielded from potential light and noise pollution. PEC is concerned about this project’s possible impacts on nearby residences, traffic and a Mountain Run tributary that crosses the property.

More Data Centers in the Pipeline

Two additional data center applications have been filed with Culpeper County. One of the properties, known as “Keyser Farm,” is off McDevitt Drive near several other approved data center sites. The other site, known as “AttoTek,” is in historic Brandy Station. The owner of AttoTek had previously applied for a data center rezoning in 2022 but was not successful at that time. Hearings for these two rezoning applications are not expected until April.

Virginia has over 150 million square feet of approved but unbuilt data center facilities, roughly the area of 23 Pentagons or 824 Walmart Super Centers. If all these data centers are built out, they will contribute to a costly expansion of our current electrical grid and the construction of many new power generation facilities. This infrastructure will be paid for by Virginia residents through their monthly utility bills.

Currently, all data center approvals are handled at the local level (town, city and county), and there is no state-level tracking or regulation of these approvals or their impacts on the future of clean, affordable energy in Virginia. In Culpeper alone, nearly 10 million square feet (roughly the equivalent of 54 Walmart Supercenters) of data centers have been approved in just the past five years. These Culpeper facilities will require new and/or expanded transmission lines in the county. You can find more information about the impacts of data centers on our website.

“Roots So Deep” Film Screening

Tuesday, Apr. 16 @ 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Germanna Community College Daniel Technology Center, Culpeper

Join PEC, American Farmland Trust, Kinloch Farm, and the Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes for an exclusive screening of the four-part documentary “Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there).” The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Director Peter Byck and founding partner of Understanding Ag, the Soil Health Academy, Dr. Allen Williams. Get your ticket ($20 per person) on Eventbrite →

“Roots So Deep” is all about inventive farmers and maverick scientists building a path to solving climate change with hooves, heart and soil. The documentary asks: Can an underutilized way to graze cattle, that mimics the way bison once roamed the land, help get farmers out of debt, restore our depleted soils, rebuild wildlife habitat and draw down huge amounts of carbon? Cattle have been seen as eco-villains for a long time. What if they can help save us from catastrophic climate change?

2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Culpeper! In addition to the grand opening of the new Virginia State Park at Culpeper Battlefields, PEC and Friends of the Rappahannock are teaming up to host a monthly lecture series at the Culpeper County Library, May through October (more details to come).

I hope to see you out and about!


Sarah Parmelee
Culpeper County Field Representative
(540) 347-2334 x7045