Fayetteville Council votes 5-to-0 to annex, rezone over 400 acres for data center office park —
UPDATED — Up to 2 dozen speakers, some of them crying as they spoke, urged the Fayetteville City Council Thursday night not to put data centers next to long-established rural residential neighborhoods in the geographic center of Fayette County..
Mayor Ed Johnson thanked the full house of citizens for participating, promised “full transparency” in all the city’s dealings with the annexation, and within minutes received a motion, a second and a unanimous vote in favor of adding 412 acres to the Fayetteville map to be used for a data center and office park.
Johnson threatened to remove one woman for questioning the motives of the Fayette County Development Authority, the agency making the rezoning request on behalf of several property owners. She then asked the council, ”How will this benefit the community? What will it do?” and sat down.
One speaker played a song into the microphone: Joni Mitchell’s 1970 environmental anthem that begins with the iconic line, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
The four tracts lie in the northeast quadrant of the Ga. Highway 54 intersection with Tyrone Road and extends the Fayetteville city limits to Flat Creek Trail, nearly to Peachtree City.
Next step is a city application for approval of a Development of Regional Impact statement to the state.
Councilman Rich Hoffman, who made the motion to approve, said that the entire council was against the particular kind of data center called a data mining operation, which crunches cryptocurrency code.