Maryland: AWS Project Withdrawal Prompts Frederick County To Consider Amending Zoning Laws

Mar 04, 2022 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Frederick County officials met this week to address a data center zoning law. They are looking to change a Maryland County’s zoning law to allow the development of data centers. This move happened after Amazon Web Services rescinded a project plan because of restrictive timelines. The officials want to amend Bill No. 22-05 to list critical data infrastructure, including data centers, a permitted use under the county’s zoning laws. For clarification, the changes will allow data centers to be developed in areas zoned general industrial or limited industrial. 

Earlier in February, AWS was forced to pull out its data center development plans in Frederick County. This was after local officials said it couldn’t meet AWS’s aggressive timelines. Besides, one of the reasons was that the zoning amendments could not be made right before county elections. However, one of the county officials said even though the proposal was aggressive, it was also feasible. Yet, Amazon walked away when officials tried to negotiate.