Data Center Project – I-95/Hickory Hill Road Economic Development Zone

What does the County know about this project at this time?

  • An application for the project was filed on September 5, 2023. It includes this conceptual plan. The number for the case is REZ2023-00035.
  • The Department of Economic Development has provided some answers to frequently asked questions about data centers here.
  • The applicant has indicated that they wish to pursue a data center operation on several properties along the south side of Hickory Hill Road, just east of I-95.
  • The project is expected to be developed on parcels GPIN 7881-62-7381 (522 acres), 7891-01-7827 (52 acres), 7881-90-1327 (64 acres) and 7890-29-5185 (552 acres).
  • All properties are zoned A-1, therefore, they would not be allowed to build by-right. They would be required to rezone to M-1, Limited Industrial District which would require several public processes. Those processes include a community meeting at a location close to the project, a Planning Commission public hearing, and a Board of Supervisors public hearing.
  • The applicant has proffered out all other uses but data centers.
  • In addition to the rezoning application, the project also includes a Conditional Use Permit and Special Exception Request. The Conditional Use permit is for a public wastewater lift station, substation, and battery storage. The Special Exception is to allow increased height for the buildings. These applications will be processed at the same time as the rezoning application and allow the same public comment and public hearings as noted above.
  • The project expects to utilize the County’s public water and sewer system.
  • The traffic impact is expected to be minimal, however, the applicant is required to perform a traffic analysis that would be reviewed by the County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Here is the revised Traffic Impact Analysis.

Map of the Parcels

  • Attached is an aerial map that shows the project/parcel outline.

What is a data center?

  • A data center is a facility that houses IT infrastructure for building, running, and delivering applications and services, and for storing and managing the data associated with those applications and services.

Are there any documents available at this time?

What does the Comprehensive Plan update project for this area?

  • The property is designated on the Land Use Plan as an Employment Center. Areas designated Employment Center are intended to accommodate employment-generating business and limited industrial uses within cohesive, master-planned developments that are at least 20 acres in size. Here is the link: Comprehensive Plan | Hanover County, VA.  

History of Land Use Designation in this Area and Hanover’s Role in Data Centers

  • The Hanover County Board of Supervisors adopts the 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update, which includes anticipated land use in the County. Areas along I-95 and U.S. 1 in Doswell are designated as “Planned Business”, which includes data centers.
  • A County on-call engineering firm presented a “Hanover Data Center Search Report & Mapbook”, which analyzed 11 key areas on criteria including parcel size, location near electric transmission line, access to water, sewer, and fiber. Areas identified as potential data center sites include the Hickory Hill/Hanover Progress area.
  • The Hanover County Board of Supervisors adopts the FY24 budget, including a stand-alone data center tax rate of $0.45 per $100 of assessed valuation. This rate is effective as of July 1, 2023.
  • Virginia Tech presented an Industry Cluster Analysis to the Economic Development Authority. Highlighted aspects of the report, include data centers being one of the key future target industries for the County to pursue, and emphasizes the significant economic and revenue impact of the sector.
  • 2007 Land Use Map
  • 2017 Land Use Map
  • 2017 Land Use Map

  • 2023 Proposed ED Zone
  • 2023 Proposed ED Zone

Public Meetings

  • These are the projected meetings as of September 27, 2023 (they are subject to change so please check back or call the Planning Department at (804) 365-6171).
    1. A community meeting was held on September 18, 2023 in the Coach House at Hanover Tavern, 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road, Hanover VA 23069. In this meeting the applicant provided an overview of their zoning requests and answered questions from citizens. 
    2. Planning Commission Public Hearing:  November 16, 2023, at 6 p.m.
      • Board of Supervisors Room, 7516 County Complex Road, Hanover, VA
    3. Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: early 2024 (Date TBD)
      • Board of Supervisors Room, 7516 County Complex Road, Hanover, VA

Tract balloon test on November 2

Hanover County has been notified that Tract will perform a balloon test on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 a.m. It will fly balloons up 75 feet and 110 feet in four test locations. The test is to determine line of sight from different locations in the area. See map for details.