WHO WE ARE
We are a diverse group of citizens and organization leaders in the Annapolis area concerned about the massive and destructive development planned for Crystal Spring at the congested area of Forest Drive and Spa Road. Our opposition is based mainly on the adverse impact large-scale development would have on traffic, the environment and our quality of life.
For the last several years, we have been leading the opposition against developers’ plan to build a monstrous mixed-use development. In January 2017, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS), one of the three development partners involved in the original proposal, announced that the partnership was dissolved and that they would be submitting a stand-alone proposal to build only the continuing care retirement community. NLCS announced a new name for the community, the Village at Providence Point, and filed plans with the City on July 25. The City returned these plans to the developer in early August requesting several major revisions before the plans could even be formally reviewed.
While the NLCS proposal does not include the commercial, retail and non-age restricted housing from the original proposal for Crystal Spring, it is still the largest development ever proposed in the City of Annapolis and rivals the size the Towne Centre. The plan would clear over 25 acres of mature Priority Forest to build 383 independent living units and 48 assisted living units.
Even worse, this is not the only development planned for the property. The plans filed on July 25 also included a subdivision plan calling for future development of an adjoining 18.5 lot owned by Ms. Richardson-Pearson that would strip another 13.3 acres of forest. Although the subdivision plan doesn’t outline what this development would entail, current zoning would permit up to 147 non-age restricted housing units on this land, which would further overcrowd our roads and schools and destroy more priority forest.
NLCS anticipates at least 500 new residents from the senior development alone, which will completely overwhelm the already clogged Forest Drive corridor. The destruction of such a large block of mature, contiguous forest will cause extensive stormwater runoff issues and detrimentally affect air and water quality.
As NLCS seeks to win public support for their new plan at Crystal Spring, we’ve presented them with the following list of eight major actions that need to be taken before we can even consider withdrawing opposition. This list was also shared with City officials:
- Conservation easement restricting further development on the remaining western portion of Crystal Spring and any undeveloped land on 73 acres being acquired by NLCS
- Reduce footprint of NLCS development – clearing 25 acres of Priority Forest for approximately 400 units is still unacceptable and contrary to the law
- Replace all trees cleared on at least a one-to-one basis, on the site or on property adjoining the site
- Manage all stormwater on site with a plan guaranteeing no net increase in the rate, volume or pollutant loads from a 20-year storm event
- Finalize exact location and terms with stringent development restrictions for the required 75-acre conservation easement on the adjoining Mas-Que Farm property
- Resolve location of the parallel (to Forest Dr.) connector road and cost-sharing to pay for it – will it extend from Skipper’s Lane behind the CVS as planned to relieve traffic on Forest Drive?
- Traffic resolution to prevent exacerbating problems at area intersections that are already failing – the City’s policies and guidelines prohibit new development from being approved unless traffic improvements are made
- Complete a Phase I Archaeological Assessment for Civil War Camp Parole 2 and/or at a minimum, have archaeological monitoring during excavation
Our goal from the beginning, as seen in our original mission statement below, has always been to protect the forests, wetlands, and meadows of Crystal Spring from destruction, not only because of the environmental implications, but also to maintain the quality of life for residents who live along this peninsula and suffer from dangerous overcrowding of our roads and schools. We will continue to use every avenue available to achieve this.
What We Seek…
We urge that all efforts be made to preserve and protect Crystal Spring in its entirety through purchase of the property using state and local funding through Program Open Space to justly compensate the owner and permanently protect the land. If this cannot be accomplished, we urge that a conservation easement be purchased to protect and preserve the land while fairly compensating the owner and allowing her use and enjoyment of the property.
Should such acquisition not prove possible, we support a significant downsizing of the proposed development. Besides moving all development to the north closest to Forest Drive, all of the non-senior related development should be eliminated so as to minimize traffic issues, reduce the destruction of mature forest, and prevent further school overcrowding. We urge that all forest cleared be replaced on site or on adjoining properties on at least a one-to-one basis; all wetlands and 100 foot buffers be protected; and a comprehensive stormwater management plan be required guaranteeing a no net increase in the rate, volume or pollutants from the site after a 20-year storm event. Lastly, we urge that a permanent conservation easement extinguishing all development rights be placed on all undeveloped acreage at Crystal Spring and the adjoining Mas-Que Farm.
Endorsements of Crystal Spring Opposition Effort
Former Governor Parris Glendening (1995-2003)
Ellen Moyer, Former Mayor, City of Annapolis (2001-2009)
Gerald W. Winegrad, Former State Senator (1983-1995)
C. Richard Damato, Former State Delegate (1999-2003)
Barbara Samorajczyk, Former Anne Arundel County Councilmember (1998-2006)
Chuck Ferrar, Former Anne Arundel County Councilmember (2009-2010); Forest Drive Business Owner
Gene M. Ransom III, Former Queen Anne’s County Commissioner (2002-2010)
James Urban, Former Member, Annapolis City Planning Commission; Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects
Rob Schnabel*, Former Chair, Annapolis Environmental Commission; Watershed Restoration Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Suzanne Pogell, Former Chair, Annapolis Environmental Commission; President, Womanship, Inc.
David Prosten, Former Chair, Anne Arundel Sierra Club
Arthur Scott Mobley, President, Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation
Anastasia Hopkinson, Vice President, Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation
Russell B. Stevenson, Jr.*, Chairman and Founder, Chesapeake Legal Alliance
Evan K Thalenberg, President, Chesapeake BaySavers
Fred Kelly, Severn RIVERKEEPER®
Frederick Tutman, Patuxent RIVERKEEPER & CEO
Diana Muller, Former RIVERKEEPER
Dr. Marilynn Katatsky, Former Board Member, South River Federation
Kent McNew*, Board Member, South River Federation
Lynne Rockenbauch, President, Severn River Association
Barbara K. Johnson, Former President, Anne Arundel Bird Club
Ray Sullivan, Save Your Annapolis Neck
Gwen Azama, Save Your Annapolis Neck
William Small, Anne Arundel Green Party
Ann M. Fligsten, Coordinator, Growth Action Network Of Anne Arundel County
Marcia Verploegen Lewis*, Board Member, Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Michael Murdoch (Retired), Founding Superintendent, Quiet Waters Park (1990-2012)
J. Elizabeth (Beth) Garraway*, PhD, Former Board Member, Maryland League of Conservation Voters; President Emerita, Maryland Independent College and University Association
Nancy Plaxico, Member, President’s Council of The Wilderness Society & Board Member, Oyster Harbor Citizens Association
Forrest Mays, Esq.
Christopher L. Beard, Esq.
Jennifer G. Beard
Liz Vanden Heuvel*, Co-Chair, Greater Annapolis Interfaith Network
Rev. Henry Green, Former Pastor, Heritage Baptist Church (1998-2014)
Colonel Fred Gregory, USAF (Ret.), Former Astronaut and NASA Deputy Administrator
Jane W. McWilliams, Historian; Author of “Annapolis, City on the Severn” (2011)
Michael Long, Secretary*, BayWoods Cooperative Housing Corporation
*Does not necessarily represent endorsement of affiliated organization