After a decade of battle over the development of Crystal Spring, revised filings by National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) have met the 4 major concerns of our group, Concerned Citizens for Proper Land Use, Inc. These concerns focused on traffic, forest conservation, stormwater management, and extinguishment of all development rights other than the senior community. These gains came after several years of work with NLCS and the City to resolve these issues and make this a model project. Planning & Zoning appears to be incorporating these terms as conditions for approval of The Village at Providence Point and forwarding their approval recommendations to the Planning Commission (PC) which has the final say. The PC will hold a virtual hearing in mid-December followed by as many as two more hearings in January that may be in person depending on public health considerations. For more details, click here to read the commitment letter filed as part of their revised plans before the City. Click here to read a list of local leaders supporting our position.
Also, click here to see the recently filed addendum by National Lutheran making substantial commitments ensuring citizen overview in meeting stormwater, sediment control, and forest conservation during construction and after the senior community is occupied. Citizens will be able to meet periodically with the construction manager and then the facility manager and have their cell phone numbers to ensure 100% compliance.
The Crystal Spring development, now called 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 about 60 new daily rush hour vehicular trips 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 construction traffic flows are not impeded.
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 175-acre site. There would be a 125-foot forested buffer around Forest Drive.
- NLCS will reforest all 27 acres of forest to be cleared 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.
- 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 and put 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 175-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, a few small picnic pavilions, and minor changes if dictated by health safety law changes.
- 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 protecting 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.