A victory for East and West Whiteland residents. However, a caveat: FOR NOW.
In my humble opinion this is far from over. This meeting is still a regular public meeting and it would behoove concerned residents to go and still express their opinions on this.
And as I was driving on Swedesford Road today near Malvern Hunt, I am still very curious as to how the approved data center in East Whiteland is not going to bother the development dwellers there and even possibly a little further up where the townhouse development is, that’s new.
I will also note that a certain stupidvisor in West Whiteland who is now a lame duck with a bad attitude dodged comment when asked by a reporter from the Daily Local about this. I wonder why she is being silent? Is it pure ignorance on the topic, or did someone tell her not to say anything? I think when it comes to these projects, there’s always more than meets the eye, and it’s not just local involvement, is it?
EAST WHITELAND — A 2-million-square-foot data center, at a cost of approximately $6 billion, is planned for the 100-acre former Foote Mineral site. Seventy-five acres sit in East Whiteland and 25 acres are located in West Whiteland Township.
Fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty partnered with Green Fig Land to obtain East Whiteland zoning variance changes that would allow for two separate million-square-foot, two-story structures and microwave towers, near the intersection of Valley Creek Boulevard and Swedesford Road.
Charlie Lyddane, who works with partner Greg Walters, of Green Fig Land, said on Monday that he wants eventually to also build on the adjacent 25-acre property in West Whiteland Township….The site abuts the heavily used Chester Valley Trail and Exton Park for what Lyddane said would be an “ancillary” use.
Data centers house equipment such as servers, and air conditioning and cooling equipment for storage of large amounts of data. Data centers run the systems that cell phones are connected to and it’s part of the internet. A data center is the building that houses all of that equipment.
Residents rallied to fight some of the uses after West Whiteland had set a January 25 date for a hearing on zoning changes in the existing office/lab district. Those changes would allow for the data center and a power generating facility to help run the data center. PECO has already agreed to supply a large amount of power. Lyddane said it was enough to fully run the East Whiteland facility as planned….The proposed West Whiteland zoning changes also call for a 60-foot height limit rather than the current limit of 35 feet.
“We are looking for flexibility,” Lyddane said.
The developer said that each of the two floors might measure 20 feet high, with equipment on the roof. He said that the facility would create 50 permanent “very good paying jobs” onsite and about 3,000 jobs during the construction period.
West Whiteland Supervisor Brian Dunn talked about the zoning changes that might lead to a data center and power plant in the township.
“I’m always skeptical about amending zoning ordinances,” Dunn said. “I’ve found through my experience that whenever a zoning ordinance is amended it’s not always what was proposed.
“A lot of times it opens up a can of worms for something worse.”
West Whiteland Supervisor Rajesh Kumbhardare said he wants to see the facts while noting that the site sits far from residences.
“I don’t see any issue with the zoning changes,” he said. “There is no power plant on the books….
West Whiteland Supervisor Theresa Santalucia preferred to not comment when reached by phone.
Libby Madarasz is running for the seat occupied by Santalucia on the West Whiteland board of supervisors.
“I’ve spent hours this past long weekend speaking with residents in their neighborhoods and out enjoying Exton Park and the Chester Valley Trail,” she said. “There was a resounding objection to these (proposed) changes in the zoning ordinances which would have such an impact to these treasured spaces.~ Daily Local/ Bill Rettew
It’s a very big article in the Daily Local and it’s worth reading.
Residents take a victory lap, but don’t get complacent. Please. And why am I saying that? Because at the end of the day this also has a lot to do with politics. This is a battle won, not the war.