I write as a 49-year resident of Annapolis to call for a halt to the plans to overdevelop the forest and fields of Crystal Spring. It’s absurd that with the existing traffic and school overcrowding problems, and the environmental destruction it would encompass, this project has not been outright rejected by Mayor Mike Pantelides and city officials. I was at forums where the mayor pledged to stop this project.
Recently two other Annapolitans and I met with the mayor to express our concerns. I let him know that there was no doubt in my mind I was at several pre-election forums where he clearly stated he was against development of any kind, not just the plan as it stood. The mayor sent us his Capital guest column and new YouTube video, but I told him I still don’t buy his position that his words are being manipulated by us, the voters. This is why he was elected — because of his explicit rejection of the Crystal Spring development.
His current position is completely undefendable. He has options to legally halt the Crystal Spring development, including strictly applying the Forest Conservation Act to prevent the clearing of about 40 acres of priority forest that is supposed to be retained and preserved. He could assure that the city’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan be complied with allowing no more than 140 housing units (including all senior units) and commercial use of up to 167,000 square feet, including the 39,000-square-foot hotel, instead of the 500 housing units planned with much more commercial use than is allowed
His pledge on Crystal Spring is the issue that turned my wife and I, and many of my neighbors, from voting for Josh Cohen and electing him instead. We have not manipulated his pledge in any way. If his position on Crystal Spring does not change, we will not be voting for him again.