Frederick County Data Centers Workgroup Releases Its Final Report

It calls for CDI floating zones, stricter setbacks for these facilities.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Data Centers Workgroup has released its final report. It calls for revisions to the County’s Digital Infrastructure ordinance. including the creation of a CDI floating zone for these centers in areas zoned general or light industrial.  The report also calls for stricter setback, lighting and vegetation requirements; and the inclusion of sustainability goals and plans.

In addition, the 11-member panel’s report also calls for updating sound management regulations; considering a high energy use surcharge; reviewing viewshed and soil regulations; creating incentives to get the industry to comply with sustainability goals; and continuing to monitor trends in the industry in order to inform policymakers.

A data center is under construction in Buckeystown at the site of the former Eastalco Aluminum facility.

The report from the Data Centers Workgroup also identified other issues that it says may need significant local, state and regional support in the future.  They include an overall limit on data center development in Frederick County; power consumption and climate goals; power generation; power transmission expansion; water consumption; and  monitoring enforcement of such key metrics as noise, air quality, water usage and stormwater management.

The Data Center Workgroup was set up by County Executive Jessica Fitzwater in response to recommendations from two transition team committees: Economic Development, and Sustainability, Infrastructure and Transportation.

The panel spent the past seven months reviewing the current county regulations and other issues related to the data center industry. It was co-chained by County Councilwoman Renee Knapp,  and Karen Cannon, the Executive Director of Mobilize Frederick.

By Kevin McManus