Capital LTE: “Crystal Spring would make Annapolis Neck’s chronic overdevelopment far worse”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, June 10, 2018

My family and I are just a few of the thousands of residents living on or near the Annapolis Neck peninsula whose daily lives are affected by the overdevelopment rampant in this area.

We love living here except for the decline in the quality of life from huge traffic jams, dangerous traffic and environmental degradation. We must drive by the Crystal Spring property daily to get to our home.

Forest Drive is a mess and the intersection at Spa Road is failing. Plans to build at least 383 new residences at Crystal Spring will only exacerbate this problem, cause even more stormwater pollution of Crab Creek and replace nearly 30 acres of forest with buildings and roads. More than 600 more new residences are planned or under construction on or near Forest Drive.

Unfortunately, The Capital has chosen the developers’ position that we must develop more in the city to increase the tax base, or raise property taxes. As former state Sen. Gerald Winegrad pointed out in his well-written column (The Capital, May 23), the more the city has grown and developed, the more taxes go up as citizens demand more services.

Annapolis has developed a lot of land since 1960, when its population was 23,385. Now, we have 39,321 people in the city, a 68 percent increase. But city residents pay a lot more in property taxes and other taxes, like the state income tax piggyback. More development and more people mean increased taxes.

The National Lutheran plans to develop Crystal Spring will not be subject to any city property taxes, as National Lutheran claims a religious tax exemption. Unless a significant payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan is worked out with the city, the rest of us will be left holding the bag. Plans filed do not include such a deal.

JOSH CHAPMAN, ANNAPOLIS

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