Legislation Covering Critical Digital Infrastructure Being Considered For Frederick County

It would cover massive data centers and other similar facilities.

Frederick, Md. – (KM) The Frederick County Council is expected to review legislation covering critical digital infrastructure. This follows plans announced last year by Quantum Loophole to build a data center at the former Eastalco property in Adamatown. It had been an aluminum manufacturing plant until it closed.

The County’s Director of Development Review and the County Planning Department, Matt Wilkins, says facilitates such as data centers  would only be allowed in areas zoned limited industrial and general industrial. “The bill establishes minimum lot sizes, setbacks from the property line {and} building height maximums,” he says.

Those facilities tend to located on “campus” type setting which could include more than one building. Wilkins says the legislation would set minimum criteria “such are architecture, landscaping, screening. lighting, and also includes provisions for eliminating noise and vibration, especially at  adjoining property lines.”

The bill also calls  for the establishment of an architectural review committee which would make sure these criteria are being met.

“We believe that the proposed design standards that are outlined in the bill are necessary to accommodate this very important industry and to do so in a way that minimized impacts on surrounding properties and neighborhoods,” Wilkins continues.

The legislation would also cover any substation constructed on the property to power a  data center.

Wilkins also explains why this bill is labeled  critical digital  infrastructure and not data centers..  . “We thought that critical digital infrastructure was broad enough term. We could define what that means in terms of applying appropriate land use law to it without  hampering what comes down the road as technology changes,” he says.

The legislation is expected to be formally introduced to the County Council on Tuesday.

By Kevin McManus