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‘Citizen experts’ urge Loudoun supervisors to deny AT&T’s Short Hill project

A group of Loudoun County residents have formed an “expert committee” in a bid to convince the Board of Supervisors to deny a commission permit that paves the way for the expansion of the AT&T facility on top of Short Hill Mountain.

Supervisors are slated ahead to take a vote on the controversial Short Hill project during their June 23 meeting.

“We've formed a committee with expertise on comprehensive planning, the law of communications technology and environmental issues. It's our objective to offer to the board of supervisors in advance of the June 23rd  board meeting a well-researched and documented set of findings that will justify the decision to overrule the planning commission and deny their commission permit,” former Loudoun County Planning Commissioner Al Van Huyck told the board Tuesday night.

Van Huyck's declaration comes after the board voted unanimously in May to delay consideration of a commission permit for the 3.5-acre “utility sub station” AT&T wants to expand at the top of Short Hill Mountain.

Earlier in the year, the county's Planning Commission gave AT&T the approval to build the facility, towering as high as 35-feet tall, between Hillsboro and Lovettsville.

On Tuesday about a dozen concerned residents attended the board meeting and urged supervisors to deny the commission permit, arguing it was not in line with the county's comprehensive plan.

In late May, the applicants of the facility including representatives from AT&T and Parsons Corporation met with members of the Lovettsville community and told residents that the site was “not a data center.” Many in the community, as well as supervisors, have questioned the facility's actual use.

During the May community meeting, AT&T representatives explained that as the demand for faster and more reliable data has increased that the company would only be able to meet that demand by having more capacity to transmit that information to where it needs to go. The company also explained to the community members that they needed the company's already existent underground infrastructure-- in use since the Cold War--for the expansion of its project.

Related coverage:

-"Loudoun supervisors delay decision on Short Hill ‘data center’"
-"AT&T says proposed Short Hill site not a ‘data center’"


Why can they build in Mountainside Overlay and the public can’t ? Tree clearing at top creates erosion down hill doesn’t it? How do you put septic fields in rock ? How far down do they drill for water and take water from those homes already tapping the underground source?  if my well runs dry will the county pay to find a new source ? Maybe run water up from Leesburg like Raspberry Falls ?  Just asking

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