Recent productive discussions with the developer, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) and city officials have gone a long way toward resolving our four main issues with the proposed development. But we are not there yet. New plans filed on May 4 still require changes to meet our concerns. This means we must remain opposed to this development until changes are made.
The Crystal Spring development, now called The Village at Providence Point, will consist exclusively of a senior development with no retail allowed. The developer will make significant intersection and road improvements focused at Spa Road/Forest Drive that should minimize, and may improve, traffic flows:
- Only 64-68 new daily rush hour vehicular trips will be generated.
- The developers agreed to make a six-figure contribution toward right of way acquisition for a connector road from the property paralleling Forest Drive to connect with Skipper Lane near the CVS, reducing Forest Drive/Spa Road traffic.
- Improvements would be made ahead of any development to be sure construction vehicles do not adversely affect traffic.
We have made great progress on environmental protections and reducing the footprint of the development:
- 303 apartments and single-family homes for seniors, plus 48 assisted living units would be built on 36 acres of the 175-acre site.
- NLCS will reforest all 28 acres of forest to be cleared on site so that 115 currently forested acres will remain forever. They have not detailed where or species and size to be replanted, a glitch needing resolution.
- The plans meet our demands that stormwater management handle a 25-year storm event so that the rate, volume, and pollutant flows will not exceed pre-development conditions.
- The developer agreed to restore a polluted stream channel that drains into Crab Creek, but we are contesting the reduction of the project from 700’ to 502’.
We have now ensured that there can be no future development of the 175-acre site beyond the senior living facility. This means no more development other than the planned senior facilities and exceptions below. All land outside the development (139 acres) will be protected in perpetuity:
- The only exceptions will be a new Wellness House, some equestrian-related barns and stables, a small picnic pavilion, and minor changes if dictated by health safety law changes.
- The owner and developer have agreed to execute a strict conservation easement that eliminates all future development and protects all 115 acres of remaining and replanted forest from future clearing.
- The terms of the easement the developer filed on May 4 includes some problem areas that weaken protections, and we are working to fix this.
- The conservation easement would be held by the respected Scenic Rivers Land Trust, operating in Anne Arundel County for 30 years.