Saturday May 25th, 2024 4:17AM

Data mining facility recommended for approval near Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport

By Christian Ashliman Anchor/Reporter

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board Tuesday voted in favor of a new data mining facility proposed for a small plot of land south of the airport.

A major concern previously expressed by the board was the addition of noise from the facility, particularly as new portions of the Highlands to Islands trail are constructed in that area.

After tabling the item on Feb. 14, the applicant returned before the board Tuesday with new site plans.

Those plans included hedges and trees planted around the perimeter of the property in order to create a sound barrier. The applicant claimed the only noise that would be heard from the facility would be a light hum.

The board's decision to recommend approval of the facility will now go before the Gainesville City Council for a final vote.

Original story published Feb. 14 at 6:00 a.m.:

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board Tuesday postponed their recommendation decision on a new data mining facility proposed for a small plot of land south of the airport.

HadjPadj Technologies, LLC, is proposing to place two covered data mining huts on a 1.37-acre parcel located at 1176 Palmour Drive, SW, according to city documents. The use disclosed by the applicant indicated the facility would be a high-powered computing server center where large batches of data would be processed.

The data processed at the facility will reportedly relate to bitcoin mining and market analysis for other businesses to “develop more effective marketing strategies,” as stated in the Gainesville staff report.

The two structures are each 20 feet long and 10 feet high, according to the applicant, and will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The main concerns expressed by the board and Gainesville planning staff centered on noise levels, as the Highlands to Islands trail is slated to run along Palmour Drive once completed.

Kate Mattison, Director of Gainesville Parks and Recreation, expressed concerns via the staff report indicating her concerns about additional noise pollution in the area.

The applicant rebutted the noise concerns during Tuesday’s meeting, indicating the level of noise will be much lower than anticipated by the board and staff. Additionally, the applicant indicated they would plant trees in the buffer zone of the property to break sight lines and further reduce noise pollution if needed.

The applicant also indicated to the board that he was a Gainesville native, and plans to contract Gainesville-based companies during the completion of the project in an effort to keep his money in the local economy.

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board voted 3 to 2 in favor of tabling the item to their March 12 meeting.

Their stated reasoning was to give the applicant time to further complete site plans that specifically include landscaping details such as added trees and bushes in the buffer zone.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board, technology, HadjPadj Technologies, data center, server
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