Capital LTE: “Destroying forest for Crystal Spring development makes no sense”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, October 25, 2017

As an environmental science teacher, I need an explanation on how current and prospective city leaders could believe that allowing 40 acres of mature forest — and cumulatively much more in the area — to be cleared at Crystal Spring, and adding impervious surfaces, can protect our rivers and bay.

As we try to restore stream beds, make rain gardens and bio-retention systems, and improve stormwater management systems elsewhere it makes no sense to allow so much forest to be destroyed and be replaced with impervious surfaces, even with the minimal plantings of small saplings replacing mature forest.

It feels hypocritical to have our children plant small sapling and do stream cleanups while adults destroy mature forests. What about our wildlife, air quality concerns, our natural beauty? What are we teaching children with all of this land rape?

Traffic is already awful. Adding more traffic is unconscionable. We will soon be like Rockville, where National Lutheran Communities & Services is headquartered.

Gavin Buckley has made it clear he does not want to say no to developers. He has taken $1,000 in campaign money from the owners of Crystal Spring and much more from other local developers.

We have many vacant brown spaces throughout town. There are empty storefronts on Main and Annapolis streets. We should redevelop existing urban sites and leave our forest alone.

Buckley has stated he wants to assure the property rights of the Crystal Spring owners. What about the rights of our children to clean water, clean air and green spaces? I cannot see how a real love for our city includes more loss of green space, much less of mature forest.

Mr. Buckley, please specifically speak to this. Mayor Mike Pantelides is at least trying to overcome the development juggernaut and to date has stopped Crystal Spring.


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