Capital LTE: “The city has every right to stop processing development plans for Crystal Spring”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, June 15, 2016

Chase Cook’s article regarding the Crystal Spring developers’ frustration at delays with city approvals (The Capital, June 13) left out some critical elements:

•The violation of the 2005 annexation agreement noted in the City Council resolution notes that all existing dwellings had to connect to city water and sewer within 10 years. According to the city attorney, the failure to hook this and other annexed properties to city water has resulted in higher fire insurance for all city property owners.

•The resolution also calls for reformation of the annexation because the relief road from Aris T Allen Boulevard to Spa Road has been abandoned. The developers were to make an “equitable contribution” to the cost. The traffic problem has greatly worsened and the city has insisted on a shorter parallel road that would cost upward of $10 million. The siting and equitable contribution need to be negotiated.

•The plan has changed radically since 2005, when a concept plan featuring 3- to 5-acre farmettes was filed by the owner.

•The developers blame the delay of the massive Crystal Spring development on city consideration of a new forest stand delineation. This delay was caused by developers filing a new, expanded FSD three years after gaining approval of one limited to the 111-acre Crystal Spring tract. They want to invade Mas Que Farm, where the annexation agreement directed that a conservation easement be placed on “approximately 75 acres.” The new FSD eliminated 11 acres under development at Mas Que Farm, leaving only 64 acres.

Until all terms of the annexation agreement are met and the 75-acre conservation easement is resolved, the city has every right to stop processing development plans. The city should go further and revoke the annexation agreement for material breaches.


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