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WASHINGTON, DC-Pending regulations for data centers here remain in the forefront while city officials continue working on proposals for permanent regulations to present to Planning and Zoning by Dec. 8. Planning Centers are generally large, windowless buildings filled with computers and telecommunications switching equipment.

Those planning to open new data centers must undergo special exemptions reviews under temporary regulations currently in place. These reviews are slated to run through Feb. 12. Applicants are being reviewed to assure the planned centers will have no adverse impact on a neighborhood.

“We are looking at special exemptions in particular areas,” says Jennifer Steingasser, a DC planning office development review specialist. “A special exception reviews the applicant to make sure there’s no adverse impact on the neighborhood.”

Under the temporary regulations, data centers are limited to C3 through 5 zoning areas, with the latter covering Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol building. The two lower designations are general commercial and higher density commercial.

The proposed regulations will be e-mailed and faxed to the list of people who have been at the roundtables for the last four or five weeks. If the planning office’s Web page is up by then, it will be posted there as well.

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