Capital LTE: “Crystal Spring marked by deception and broken pledges”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, April 8, 2017

From the start, the public has been deceived by the Crystal Spring developers’ statements. Now, the developers are changing the name — who do the developers think they are fooling?

Even if they call the huge project Paradise Island, it is still an environmentally unacceptable proposal. They plan to clear 27 acres of mature forest and build nearly 400 residences at one of the most traffic-clogged intersections in the area.

The developers are reneging on pledges to reforest all forest cleared. When the land was annexed from the county11 years ago, the property owner submitted a concept for 3-to-5-acre farmettes at Crystal Spring, with some retail and commercial development nearest Forest Drive.

Even if the 400 housing units on just 48 of the 111 acres at Crystal Spring are approved, another 200 or more non-age-restricted homes could be built on the 65 acres of Crystal Spring bordering Forest Drive the owner would retain. Ten of the acres the developers would buy are zoned commercial and nothing prevents them from developing a shopping center there.

National Lutheran described its senior development as a “community-integrated” project featuring a variety of unique attractions that would serve as a destination for those living outside the neighborhood. Now, it plans to build a fence around the entire development and hire security guards because of the violent crime at adjoining Newtowne 20 and Woodside Gardens, with three murders in the last 14 months.

A recent letter notes that the mayor has fulfilled his pledge to stop the development of Crystal Spring. This is simply not so, as the current plan is still to intensively develop 48 of the 111 acres there, with the opportunity to develop 65 more acres in the future.


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