Recently, the Crystal Spring developers filed a new Forest Stand Delineation (FSD) with the City to greatly expand the area that could be considered for development to include an additional 76 acres of Mas Que Farm. This is beyond the original 111 acres at Crystal Spring. The FSD must be approved before the development can move forward with the next step, a Forest Conservation Plan (FCP).
Our organization submitted formal comments urging the City to reject the new Forest Stand Delineation on the basis that any development on the Mas Que Farm parcel would be in direct violation of the 2005 Annexation Resolution. Under the Annexation Agreement, and according to multiple pledges from the developers and owner, this land was to be kept undeveloped and protected in perpetuity under a conservation easement. In addition, the developer has pledged in their filings and publicly to place a conservation easement on all land and remaining forest on the 111 acre Crystal Spring site as part of the development approval process, but no proposal has been submitted for such an easement.
Before any further processing of the FSD or any future FCP occurs, we are urging the City to require the perpetual conservation easements to be clearly drafted and agreed upon for Mas Que Farm and any remaining undeveloped land at Crystal Spring. The easements should include detailed metes and bounds, with provisions prohibiting any further development and clearing of forest on these sites and disallowing expansion of the Crystal Spring development into Mas Que Farm – whether for stormwater management facilities or otherwise. This is all the more critical with the new filing for an expanded FSD that would potentially allow development of Mas Que Farm.
On March 22, the City sent the FSD back for technical revisions, but ignored our comments. The City has the power to require the perpetual conservation easement for Mas Que Farm be drafted and agreed upon, and they have the power to reject the FSD outright that would expand the acreage that might be developed. But they refuse to do so.
The current FSD was approved by the City in March 2013 and covered only the 111 acre of Crystal Spring. All subsequent filings with the City and all public comments, work sessions with the Planning Commission and City officials, and presentations to the City Council over the last three years were based on this FSD.
Now, the developers want to greatly expand the area covered to include all of Mas Que Farm. We are asking the City to, please, just say no!