Proposed Farmington data center has current residents on edge

Homeowners love Farmington’s Executive Estates and Park Place neighborhoods because of the green space and privacy they get across the street from the Fountain Valley Golf Course.

However, right now some of them are concerned, after receiving notices of a public hearing that could bring change to the area.

"We’re going to go to the hearing, we’re going to talk to the city council and the planning commission about what the options are," neighbor Andy Baerg said.

The aging owners of the Fountain Valley Golf Course are looking to sell their 160-acre property and retire. But, the potential buyer has applied to rezone the residential land as mixed use commercial and industrial, in order to build a data center.

"I think the neighborhood would change. I think a third of the people would move," neighbor Jeff Schottler said. "It is a kid friendly neighborhood, and that’s not a kid friendly thing."

"Our first response was: I called my realtor. We would like to be ahead of it. If that is going to turn into a commercial and industrial, we’re not interested in being here," Schottler added.  

Farmington mayor Joshua Hoyt had this to say: "Comprehensive planning in future land-use is not something that is set in stone. It’s not here is how it’s going to be and nothing changes," Mayor Hoyt said. "It’s been a golf course forever. There have been homes that have built up around it, but it’s still a parcel that sits on a highway. It has adjacent commercial use that’s been there for decades."

Fountain Valley’s co-owner says prospective out-of-state buyers would save as many trees as possible, while lowering the tax burden on homeowners, and reducing the amount of vehicles coming in and out of the area. She added that the buyer is also working to purchase neighboring land owned by Farmington Schools.

"There’s nothing more I’d like to see than for the Olson’s to be able to retire and move on. I’d like them to be able to sell the golf course and profit," neighbor Nate Ryan said. "But I don’t think that it would be a good idea to change the zoning from residential."

The issue will be discussed at a public hearing in front of the planning commission on May 14.