It would be easy for some to say that this power line fight in Haymarket is all about NIMBY. But they would be wrong. This power line fight is about how a County plans its future. This fight is about how community comes together to protect the vision of why they chose to invest in a certain area in Prince William County. This is why we have a Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is the guide for how we see our community now, and in the future. We have areas that are high density housing, heavy commercial, and walkable communities.
However, in this county, we also have a very unique land use tool, its called the “Rural Crescent” and it is our urban growth boundary. The Rural Crescent is unique, unique in that it serves different purposes. The Rural Crescent isn’t just intended to preserve open space, it is a financial tool also. How does it serve as a financial tool?
Well, you see the Rural Crescent does not require infrastructure investment the same as more intensive use areas do. We don’t have public water or public sewer, we are self sufficient in those ways. We don’t require new schools to be built to serve the community because there are restrictions on building high density housing. We don’t require new road infrastructure.
The county Comprehensive Plan balances these different use areas by design. The Innovation Corridor was designated as our “economic engine” for Prince William County.
The Innovation Sector Plan has been prepared to facilitate and enhance the continued success of the Innovation Business Park in partnership with George Mason University – Prince William Campus. Given that Innovation has developed a successful advanced technology business environment, the Innovation Sector Plan is intended to serve as a tool to bring the Innovation area to the next level of success as a business destination and economic engine.
The reason why Haymarket finds itself in this predicament of power lines and the need to build a substation for the proposed 500,000 sq ft Amazon data facility is that the most western end of the county is not intended for such intensive industrial use. We simply do not have the infrastructure in place to support such a use. You don’t build an aircraft carrier in the desert.
PWC and its citizens welcome Amazon and would be none the wiser if the site chosen was not located in the worst possible location for anything much larger than a strip mall. The power required for this facility is of such magnitude that it was bound to create a cascading string of problems.
The only acceptable options are either the one proposed by Dominion Power, the 5.8 mile I66 hybrid or another similar route that impacts little private property and partially buries the line if necessary. Even with a small segment partially buried, this I66 route is no more expensive than the two longest routes AND it protects the majority of private property.
This Coalition to Protect Prince William County is dedicated to preserving the integrity of our historical resources, our planned communities, our farms, our very way of life.
We didn’t ask for this challenge, it was forced upon us, and we will not sit idly by while the very fabric of our community is threatened. This effort has just begun!