After more than a decade of battle over the development of Crystal Spring, the Annapolis Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve plans for a senior living project on the property. Despite a major downsizing of the development at Crystal Spring, the elimination of all retail and non-senior housing, and clustering the development closest to Forest Drive, and making the project a model for future projects—all to meet our demands—a small group of opponents have sued the City to block the project and it has been sent back to the Planning Commission. Click here to read our statement in response to this appeal.
Also, read our President, former Senator Gerald Winegrad’s, Capital column detailing the process and decision.
The Planning Commission adopted 53 conditions including measures we insisted upon. This assures that traffic conditions will not be worsened, 124 acres of forest on site will remain forever protected including reforestation, polluted stormwater flows will not increase, and a strict conservation easement and deed covenants assure no future development of the site. There will be an independent sediment and stormwater control expert on site during construction to assure 100% compliance. Also, we will be able to meet periodically with the construction manager, and then the facility manager once the senior facility is open, and have their cell phone numbers to ensure compliance with all terms.
We are pleased that National Lutheran Communities & Services and the City have agreed with us on these terms making The Village at Providence Point a model in sustainable development and for Smart Growth. Since all of our concerns were met, we have agreed to withdraw all objections to the plans.
For more details, click here to read the NLCS commitment letter included as a condition of approval.
The Village at Providence Point will consist exclusively of a senior only living facility with no retail allowed. The developer will make significant intersection and road improvements that should minimize, and may improve, traffic flows:
- Only 19 additional AM peak vehicular trips and 33 PM will be generated.
- The developers will pay for a new left turn lane on Spa Road at Forest Drive and traffic light synchronization.
- The developers will pay $181,000 toward the cost of 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 occupation of units to ensure traffic flows are not impeded during construction.
Forest Conservation and Stormwater Management
We have made great progress in reducing the development’s footprint, protecting forest and reducing stormwater:
- 302 housing units for seniors and 48 health care units would be built closest to Forest Drive with an impervious surface footprint of 15.25 acres of the 176-acre site. There would be a 200-foot forested buffer around Forest Drive.
- 27 acres of forest cleared will be reforested elsewhere on site so that 124 currently forested acres will be protected forever with the reforestation.
- The plans meet our demands that stormwater management handle a 25-year storm event so that there would be no increase in the rate, volume, or pollutant loads and stormwater flows will not exceed that from a forest in good condition. Click here for our stormwater expert’s comments on the plans.
- The developer will use 79 rain gardens and more than an acre of green roofs, plus restore a polluted stream channel that drains into Crab Creek at a cost of $5000,000. 364 of the 475 parking spaces underground or under buildings with another 28 spaces using porous surfaces.
- The developer has committed to 100% compliance with all environmental requirements for stormwater, sediment control, and forest conservation both during construction and once occupation occurs. Click here to see new agreement filed with the City guaranteeing citizen oversight.
Future Development Extinguished
We have ensured that there can be no future development of the 176-acre site beyond the senior living facility with only a few exceptions. This means no more development other than the planned senior facilities and exceptions below. All land outside the development footprint will be protected in perpetuity:
- The only exceptions will be a new Wellness House, some equestrian-related barns and stables, and a few small picnic pavilions.
- The owner has agreed to a strict conservation easement on her remaining 123 acres and the developers will execute deed restrictions eliminating future development on their 52 acres, thus permanently protecting 140 acres including all 124 acres of remaining and replanted forest from future clearing. See both documents by clicking “Learn More” below.
- The development site will be permanently restricted to no more than 15.25 acres of impervious surface for TVPP.
- The conservation easement would be held and enforced by the Scenic Rivers Land Trust, operating in Anne Arundel County for 30 years.