Anne Arundel County Councilman Trumbauer, who represents the district that includes the Crystal Spring property and surrounding area, sent us the following statement today opposing the current development plans:
“I oppose the current plan for the Crystal Spring property, largely because I believe the footprint is too big and it is not consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan. I support Mayor Buckley’s vision to work with city planners, the community and the landowner to reduce the scale of the project, and I would like to see more of the forested area protected by conservation easement.”
Crystal Spring developers continue to defy city planners and persist with a seriously flawed proposal. The current development plan would destroy almost 40 acres of the last remaining large stand of forest in the City of Annapolis. About 25.5 acres would be cleared for the Providence Point senior community, which will include 383 senior homes and 48 assisted living units. Additionally, there is a subdivision plan that would allow the owner to develop additional lots on the western half of the property. They are planning to clear 13.3 acres on two of these lots (see the red X on the image below). While the developers have not given details about what will be built there, current zoning permits up to 147 non-age restricted homes, which would further overcrowd our roads and schools.
In addition to the outrageous size and scale of this development, which has only gotten larger with time, there are many other issues at stake. The environmental impact of clearing nearly 40 acres of mature forest will be devastating. Stormwater runoff is the #1 pollutant of Crab Creek and the South River. The developers still have no viable plans to adhere to their pledge to manage 100% of stormwater onsite without exceeding current pollutant loads or the rate and volume of existing flow. Also the developers have reneged on their pledge to replant 100% of the forest cleared on site and instead will only replant 15.35 acres. Air and water quality is already struggling in our area and will be detrimentally impacted by this development.
The traffic impact from at least 500 new residents at Providence Point senior community (possibly more from future development by the owner) remains a huge concern. The intersection at Forest Drive and Spa Road is already operating at overcapacity levels (F rating) during rush hours, yet the developers’ plans amazingly include no traffic or intersection improvements. Moreover, Crystal Spring is only one of 24 developments pending or under construction that will bring more than 1,100 new homes to the Forest Drive corridor. We also still don’t have a solution to the issue of a parallel road which is required under the annexation agreement and the 2009 City Comprehensive Plan to run from Skippers Lane through the property to Gemini Drive. The City has said this could cost upwards of $10 million and under the annexation agreement, the developer is supposed to make an “equitable contribution” to that cost, but the developers are refusing to even include the full road in their plans, let alone come to an agreement as to their share of the cost.
We are thankful to Councilman Trumbauer for expressing his support on this critical issue which stands to have an immense impact on many of his constituents.