True North Developer Requests Changes

A positive update on the controversial True North Data Center that was greenlit more than four years ago: At the April 13 Loudoun Board of Supervisors public hearing, the developer came back to ask for changes that would remove the two buildings closest to the Dulles Greenway, reducing the building square footage on the property. Of those buildings, one was the closest to Goose Creek and would have destroyed the globally-rare Northern Piedmont Mafic Barren plant community on the property. If the Board accepts the request, it would allow for a taller building in the center of the property instead.

Location of True North Data Center.

Back in 2018, the Board narrowly voted to approve True North, a 750,000-square-foot data center complex along Goose Creek in Loudoun County, despite an outpouring of public opposition from area residents and concern voiced by environmental groups like PEC. Since then, the promised economic benefits of the project have not been realized, with the two existing buildings yet to be occupied and many others left unbuilt as the developer struggles with both site conditions and finding a tenant or tenants.

While we continue to believe that this was not the right location for a data center, we acknowledge and appreciate the changes the developer has made to the proffers to avoid environmental harm. These changes would provide permanent protection for the Mafic Barren through a conservation easement or transfer of that portion of the site to the county. This would additionally reduce the amount of impervious cover onsite impacting water quality just above the drinking water reservoir. The developer has also committed further onsite protections and support for restoration projects like tree planting projects in the Goose Creek watershed.

A majority of the Board voted at the public hearing in favor of the proposed changes. On May 17, they will vote again to make their recommendation final.