Capital LTE: “Annapolis’ suburban sprawl is not smart growth”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, January 10, 2016

The letter headlined “Smart growth” (The Capital, Jan. 5) should have been headlined “Support costly suburban sprawl.”

What is planned on the edge of Annapolis at developments such as Crystal Spring and Parkside Preserve at Quiet Waters Park is anything but smart growth. As I pointed out in guest column (The Capital, April 20), the Crystal Spring project fails to meet at least eight of the 10 smart growth principles used nationally to guide wise development.

Mr. Vasquez characterizes those who oppose such environmentally destructive projects as wanting to block all new development. Nonsense. Those who support smart growth favor redevelopment inside the city rather than annexing pristine land on the fringe, where development threatens mature forests and will further overcrowd roads and schools.

Instead, the city should encourage redevelopment of sites such as the abandoned Maryland Auto Insurance Fund property on Forest Drive, at the Enclave on Spa Road, or in other more central sites that are readily accessible to downtown by foot, bicycle or transit. There are growth opportunities inside the city without destroying forests, hurting existing businesses, damaging property values or taxing residents for the cost of providing new services to far-flung developments.

Roxanna Rodriguez, who owns Caliente Grill on Bay Ridge Road, is illustrative of the problems caused by growth in the wrong place. She was among 150 citizens who protested Crystal Spring at a City Hall rally. She noted in The Capital how her business was hurt when Forest Drive was shut down for hours after a fuel truck accident. A huge development like Crystal Spring could create similar problems every day.


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