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Deny permit for construction of a 3+ acre telecom facility on Short Hill Mountain.

This petition had 726 supporters

To the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the decision makers at AT&T,

I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and many other community members of Loudoun County and specifically the Catoctin District. It has come to our attention that there has been a vote by the Loudoun Planning Commission to permit AT&T of Virginia to expand their telecommunications facility to add a 161,000 sq. ft telecommunications datacenter on the ridge of Short Hill Mountain.
This letter is to implore AT&T of Virginia to halt these plans and for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to deny any such permit. Western Loudoun, especially Lovettsville and Purcellville are agricultural regions that have a very rich history. We are known for the cultivation of our lands and creating a space for our local community and for those visiting the picturesque countryside that is Western Loudoun. There are many multi-generational, centennial farms that have thrived in this area for well over 100 years. There are also many families who plan on living here for many more generations to come. There are few places more scenic and beautiful in Loudoun County than our Blue Ridge Mountain views and this would absolutely damage this landscape. This datacenter would leave a scar at the top of this ridge top as it stands.

It does not escape me that there is an irony in my involvement here. I myself am a seasoned datacenter architect. I’ve stood up, designed and maintained communications facilities all over the world. I’ve had two tours in the middle-east in small tent setups, I’ve designed and implemented large facility implementations for one of the largest multi-national telecommunications corporations in the world. I’ve maintained a data centers and systems for the largest software and media companies in the world. It does not escape me that without companies like AT&T we wouldn’t have the progress we have seen in our country technologically in the last 20 years. It is amazing what you have been able to accomplish as a corporate entity. This ability to accomplish goals and move forward for both you and your stock holders is the reason you are today one of the largest top 3 multi-national telecommunications corporations in the world. The question I will pose is does this allow your entity to literally turn over mountains to achieve these goals. I realize appealing to a corporation does not fall on the ears of an entity with moral judgement. It is not in the nature of a public corporation to strive for an adherence to some code of ethics. In fact there is no incentive of a public corporation to act ethically at all unless there is a monetary gain behind the action.

This 3.5+ acre facility stands in direct contrast to the consciousness of the neighbors of the site of this facility owned by AT&T Virginia. Better wireless communications is not a factor in the choice to live in this region. This part of the county stands out as an area that stands for the acts of "faith-keeping and neighborliness.” We see the countryside as a place to uphold and to care for. We see it for more than the one single form of capital that is financial wealth. We pride ourselves in holding a more dynamic view of capital in this region. This view holds all forms including social, environmental, cultural, spiritual and experiential capital as something to unite and promote and approve. This perspective is why people come to visit. When sojourners from other parts of the county and states come,they visit farmlands and wineries, they enjoy the fresh air and views that come from the culture that is Western Loudoun. This facility stands in direct opposition to this. It will disfigure a part of the landscape we hold dear.

For as Wendell Berry states so eloquently:  "There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places"

To the board of supervisors, (Gearey M. Higgins) please stand behind the residents of your county and deny the permit for the desecration  of Short Hill Mountain ridgeline. 

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