OPINION: PW Supervisors Should Not Postpone Voting on Land-use During 'Lame Duck' Session

'Supervisor Lawson, you can't handle the truth!'

Aerial photo of 2012 Upgraded Transmission Corridor running through Pageland Lane properties.
Aerial photo of 2012 Upgraded Transmission Corridor running through Pageland Lane properties.
Courtesy of Mary Ann Ghadban

OPINION- During the June 27th Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) meeting, Supervisor Lawson (Brentsville Supervisor and Republican candidate for Chair) presented a resolution to be considered on July 11, which seeks a moratorium on scheduling a public hearing on land use cases until the new board takes office in January 2024. Supervisor Lawson justified this proposal by claiming it is “customary” to avoid hearing land use cases during a “Lame Duck” Board period. This is not true.

Supervisor Lawson’s own action during a 2019 Lame Duck session contradicts her justification. In December 2019, less than one month before the current Democratic majority board took office, Supervisor Lawson raised no such objection to hearing the Gainesville Crossing Data Center Rezoning case and voted in favor of approving the construction of the Gainesville Crossing data center complex. This approval located a 3M S.F. data center campus across Pageland Lane from the Manassas National Battlefield Park HQ and across Route 29 from Conway Robinson State Forest. This rezoning was one of the first outside of the Data Center Overlay and within the former Rural Crescent.

During the Prince William County Planning Commission public hearing in November of 2019, objections were raised by Clark Chenny, Bob Weir (now Gainesville Supervisor) from the Coalition to Protect PWC and other concerned residents.

The unexplainable inconsistency between Supervisor Lawson’s resolution and her past action is blatant hypocrisy and undermines the important principles in government of truthfulness and fairness. We’ve seen this before from Republican politicians. President Obama was denied a Supreme Court appointment eight months prior to leaving office, yet President Trump was supported in his last appointment, only three months prior to leaving office. This type of political gamesmanship compromises the integrity of decision-making processes and erodes trust in government.

It is important that elected representatives be accountable, consistent, transparent, and fair in decision-making. We must call them out when they are not. This requires monitoring the actions and statements of our representatives and ensuring they prioritize the best interests of all the people they seek to serve – not just one group.

Mary Ann Ghadban

Pageland Lane, Gainesville Resident

Mary Ann Ghadban is a Pageland Resident and MagLandBroker, LLC commercial real estate land broker, representing the cohort of Pageland Lane residents who have entered into an agreement to sell their land to data center developer QTS.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors needs to approve the Prince William County Digital Gateway project before plans can move forward.

PW Digital Gateway, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, Prince William Digital Gateway, Prince William County, Prince William County Board of County Supervisors,