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Residents decry rural-area data centers, development during town hall meeting

May 3, 2022

But the bite was delivered by remarks from two African American residents, Deshundra Jefferson of Montclair and Frank Washington of Thoroughfare. Addressing issues such as proposed updates to the county’s comprehensive plan, the possible construction of the Bi-County Parkway, and deciding whether to approve the new digital corridor in the county’s rural north, Jefferson said: “The [county] board is making decisions that are going to affect our county for generations.” All of these matters, she said, may have destructive effects on residents in the eastern part of the county and people of color.

She said she was opposed to people “using race for their own gain,” a not-too-veiled reference to pro-development advocates who argue that preserving the rural crescent extends a racially exclusive way of life. She said that industrial development in the northern rural crescent will affect the water in the Occoquan Reservoir that she and her 14-year-old son drink. And she said the long-threatened Bi-County Parkway, which would incorporate a widened Va. 234, would bisect not only the county but local neighborhoods. “We have developer-driven growth,” she said.


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