As someone who grew up in Silicon Valley, a once-lush collection of apple and cherry orchards, I have seen firsthand the effects of unbridled development. When I go back to California to visit, I am once again dumbstruck at the congestion, pollution and loathsome sights all around.
The “new” plan by National Lutheran at the Crystal Spring site at Spa Road is nothing new, as it has only slightly modified its senior development and presented it as a stand-alone project, when nothing precludes the remaining 66 acres the owner of Crystal Spring retains from being developed intensively with a shopping center and hotels and more homes, as originally planned.
While a no-growth policy is unrealistic for any city, the proposed development at Crystal Spring for 400 senior housing units and new roads through it, as well as the nearly 800 other new homes approved or on their way to approval by the city in this busy corridor, sets a course resulting in roads and highways similar to that of Los Angeles and San Jose, California, where a mere six-mile drive could take up to an hour.
And what about the 27 acres of mature forest to be destroyed and the polluted stormwater that will result?
With this in mind, perhaps the final decision about the development should be made by the City Council members in a van, starting at the intersection of Chinquapin Road Road and Forest Drive during rush hour and proceeding to the Crystal Spring site at Spa Road, while trying to imagine what the traffic will be like — multiplied by ten.
Yes, I am another frustrated city resident.
JIMMY MONACK, ANNAPOLIS