Capital LTE: “New plan for Crystal Spring still drawing major concerns from citizens”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, May 14, 2017

The Crystal Spring project has morphed into The Village at Providence Point but remains a totally unsuitable use of the few acres of forested land left on Forest Drive.

I attended a March 23 briefing by the CEO of the National Lutheran Communities and Services, Larry Bradshaw, who attempted to explain to a restive crowd differences between his project and the former Crystal Spring.

It was quickly apparent that few supported his new plan because it features poor forest preservation, stripped wild life habitat, added traffic to an already-congested Forest Drive and a limited market of would-be residents financially able to access this planned development. In designing the planned Village at Providence Point, it is plain that no consideration has been given to other real estate projects that will also increase traffic on Forest Drive.

To attract 500 residents for this “continuing care” facility who can afford the high entry fees and the monthly charges, this project must compete with Ginger Cove and Bay Woods, which have similar fees, based on data contained in the current edition of the Sourcebook Guide to Retirement Living for Maryland. Those excellent and competing facilities are tucked away in quiet spaces, away from the dangerously congested Forest Drive.

The aspect most concerning the citizens who attended the briefing was that the whole project has been designed to avoid review by the city Planning Commission, intending to use a “special exception” shortcut that would have it reviewed by an appeals board with limited public participation. Project planning has been adversely affected as to acreage required and amount of forest damage in order to make this scheme work.

As the project is to be submitted to the city soon, this is a matter demanding prompt attention.


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