Groton approves one-year moratorium on large-scale data centers

The town is implementing a one-year ban on applications to the Planning and Zoning Commission for large-scale data centers, so it can determine how to regulate them. The commission has discussed the need to create zoning regulations specific to data centers after the Town Council recently considered but ultimately rejected, due to concerns that included the noise impact of data centers, a municipal host fee agreement with data center developer NE Edge LLC. Last year, the council also approved an agreement with another developer, Gotspace, for a potential data center, but Gotspace has not as of yet submitted a specific application to the commission. The Planning and Zoning Commission applied to institute a temporary moratorium on data centers and revise the definition of a telecommunication facility, while providing a specific definition of a data center. Horsley Witten Group, which is made up of engineers, scientists and planners and has several offices throughout the Northeast, has been engaged to start developing data center regulations and will start talking to the commission about its thoughts on whether data centers should be allowed at all, Jones said. According to a contract signed with the town in April, Horsley Witten Group will provide the services for a $7,000 fee.

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