A group of residents in Prince William County, Virginia, have filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Supervisors over a data center development.

The residents, through their formed non-profit "Devlin Defend Corporation," filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Supervisors on December 28 in the hopes that it could put a stop to the nine-building campus - known as the Devlin Technology Park - set to be developed in Bristow.

The lawsuit shortly follows the county voting in favor of the development.

Prince William County - Devlin Technology Park - Stanley Martin.png
– Prince William County

In the filing, the Devlin Defend Corporation argues that the planned development is an "invasive industrial use within a residential area" and that the development has been allowed to exceed height restrictions at the property (81ft tall), meaning that the data centers will "tower over" surrounding houses.

The lawsuit goes on to say that the project will "destroy the community." In addition to alleging that the Board ignored residents' concerns, the lawsuit states that permitting the data center development goes against the County's Code of Ordinances.

For example, Virginia law states that zoning should "improve the public health, safety, convenience, and welfare of their citizens," and that "residential areas [should] be provided with healthy surroundings for family life."

The Board of County Supervisors approved the rezoning plans for the Devlin Technology Park which will see close to 270 acres changed from 'Planned mixed residential' to 'M-2 Light Industrial' on November 29, 2023, after first postponing the vote in February of the same year.

The lawsuit, however, notes that at that meeting the company behind the Devlin Technology Park development's - Stanley Martin Homes (SMH) - latest proffer was notably different, including the choice to dedicate around 31.5 percent of the property to public park uses, and a $5 million grant to the Board on the "condition of the first site plan approval for Landbay B."

The filing argues that this constitutes a significant change which should have seen the application sent back to the planning commission for review (though the board voted against doing so).

The data center campus was first proposed in April 2022 but has faced significant backlash from local residents due to concerns surrounding the potential noise pollution, loss of green space, and impact on the community.

The County is also considering data center developments from the likes of Stack Infrastructure, Sharpless Enterprises, Google, and AWS.