Capital LTE: “City gets a chance to undo some of its planning errors”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, June 18, 2016

The Annapolis City Council recently introduced legislation to rewrite several annexation agreements signed by property owners over 10 years ago. The property owners have violated certain terms of their agreements and basically are pleading forgiveness. This property owners’ nightmare creates the city’s opportunity to rewrite history.

For two decades Annapolis has encouraged property owners to leave the county’s jurisdiction. The county has adequacy of public facilities legislation that constrains development to what’s feasible within obvious limits of roads and schools. When considering new developments, the city has blatantly ignored the adequacy of roads and schools, and isn’t too keen to protect the natural environment.

City planning errors of the past 20 years ignored the limits and costs of growth. The result has been monumental traffic jams, crowded schools, forest and wetland destruction and a drag on our property values and quality of life.

Rarely does any government get to correct its errors of the past. That moment has been given to the mayor and council.

The Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation calls upon the city to negotiate with these errant property owners, retaining their annexation agreements but significantly downsizing and restricting new construction on these properties.

For politicians and city staff, the proposed new developments on Forest Drive have been nothing but grief. More importantly most citizens emphatically do not want the consequences of more development on the peninsula. Renegotiating density while rewriting the annexation agreements is a completely legitimate way for Annapolis’ leaders to reset obsolete plans for excessive development.

Seize the moment!

ANASTASIA HOPKINSON, Vice President, Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation

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