Opposition arises to Fayetteville data center site annexation

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Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

A group of Fayette residents are urging citizens to attend a special called meeting of the Fayetteville City Council Thursday evening at which the only topic is to consider approval for annexation of 412 acres in the center of the county to allow development of a data center said to produce 100 jobs and a billion-dollar ultimate investment.

The meeting will be at the Fayetteville City Hall at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 30.

The four tracts lie in the northeast quadrant of the Ga. Highway 54 intersection with Tyrone road and, if approved, would extend the Fayetteville city limits to Flat Creek Trail, nearly to Peachtree City.

The separate owners of the tracts have authorized the Fayette County Development Authority to pursue the anexation on their behalf, the city council information packet says. The annexation has already gotten the go-ahead from the Fayette County Commission and the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission.

“If annexed, the properties would be zoned BP Business Park and designated as Suburban Office on the Future Land Use Map. The purpose of the annexation and zoning is to combine these tracts with the adjoining properties within the city limits to establish a 600-acre multi-use business park which would include research and development, life science and data center facilities,” the city report says.

“The subject property is currently zoned R-70 and is proposed for BP (Business Park) zoning in Fayetteville. The subject property is currently designated as Rural Residential-2 (1 Unit/ 2 Acres) on the Fayette County Future Land Use Plan map. Consider adding a larger buffer (100 feet) established along the northern residential lots and down Flat Creek Trail with a possible noise reduction barrier. Since the proposal is not definitive as to the nature of the uses between the Data Center and the Life Science Campus, it is recommended that the more intense uses, especially those that produce extreme noise, be placed along SR 54 West the less intense uses be places along Flat Creek Trail to protect the residential area,” the city report says.

 City staff is recommending the city council approve the annexation. More illustrations below.

A group of residents in opposition has put together a statement why the city should reject the annexation. Here’s that statement:

“A quick summary of a local project that should concern all Fayette citizens: You may not be aware Fayetteville wants to annex 100s of acres of forested land nearby and change the already approved R-70 zoning (2-acre residential lot) to business park including data centers. See link to REZONING PLAN.

“Do not be fooled by the pretty images of a data center ‘campus.’ Data centers, also euphemistically called The Cloud, are pitched to towns as a way to generate revenue without burdening schools and roads. The Fayette County data center project is the brainchild of FCDA and rich investors.

“The number of jobs created would be minimal because data centers are operated remotely and require a skeleton crew to manage, people like security guards and computer technicians.

“The amount of development on 630 acres would be enormous and ongoing; servers must be replaced every 3 years. Imagine a steady flow of dump trucks onto Veterans Parkway, Hwy. 54, Tyrone Road, and Flat Creek Trail near two schools and several subdivisions.

“Imagine living right next door or nearby while the construction rages on. Once completed, the centers would destroy your peace and quiet as you helplessly watched your property value plummet (while investors continued to get tax breaks).

“Taxes might even rise since towns are responsible for building and maintaining infrastructure to support data centers. Protecting the wetlands as required by the EPA wouldn’t happen, as evidenced by Trilith (formerly Pinewood Studios) and Fayetteville’s history of not enforcing the rules.

“City and county officials, including Planning & Zoning, have NOT done their due diligence on the impact of data centers on your community and quality of life … which they repeatedly claim they respect in their mission statements and interviews. Why not?

“Because state government wants BIG business in Georgia and they don’t care how it impacts you. Your tax dollars are used to pay ‘development authorities’ to court business. They make deals protected by non-disclosure agreements which aren’t shared with elected officials. Then they tell your representatives what they want annexed and rezoned.

“Once that’s accomplished, residents might discover that data farms or massive industrial businesses will be moving in next door. See https://bit.ly/3xqBrSq for facts about the RIVIAN deal in Morgan County, Ga. (To be built close to mega META data centers.)

“Please plan to attend the rezoning meeting on 6-30-22 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fayetteville City Hall, 210 Stonewall Ave. W. We need to voice our concerns and get FCDA and city officials to reassess their plans. If you live in the city limits of Fayetteville and would like to play an active role in maintaining your quality of life, please email FayettevilleDataCenters@gmail.com.”

Map of area to be annexed into Fayetteville. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Map of area to be annexed into Fayetteville. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Data center structures. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Data center structures. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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