Local State and County Candidates’ Positions on Crystal Spring and Responsible Growth

Early voting for the General Election begins on October 25th and runs through November 1. Vote from 10 am to 8 pm at any early voting center in the county, including the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis and the Edgewater Community Library–click here to see the full list. You may also vote on Election Day on November 6. Click here to find your assigned polling place for Election Day

Before you vote, please take a moment to learn where the candidates stand on the development of Crystal Spring, as well as protecting our forests and waterways from development. This questionnaire was submitted to all candidates for State Legislative District 30, County Executive, and County Council Districts 6 and 7. The candidates listed are vying to represent the people who live in the legislative districts encompassing the Annapolis area, where Crystal Spring is located, or in adjoining districts bordering the project where stormwater would flow into the South River and could adversely affect its water quality.

The questionnaire consists of four yes or no questions of interest to all of us regarding the Crystal Spring development and responsible growth. The candidates polled on these important issues would represent citizens who will be profoundly affected by the traffic, school overcrowding, and stormwater and air pollution from the Crystal Spring development as well as others in the pipeline.

Our group is apolitical and does not endorse candidates, but we want you to know where the candidates stand on the issues of concern to you.

The questions are listed below followed by the responses we have received. Please note that some candidates chose not to respond. If we receive additional responses in the coming days, they will be added.


1. If elected, would you support and work to preserve and protect Crystal Spring from development, either through the purchase of all 111 acres at Crystal Spring in fee simple using state Program Open Space funds and other funds to fairly compensate the owner, or through the purchase of a conservation easement to fairly compensate the owner while allowing her the use and enjoyment of the property? (These purchases would include extinguishing development rights at Mas Que Farm, while keeping the ownership the same).



2. If it is not possible to purchase Crystal Spring in fee simple or protect it under a conservation easement, if elected, would you support limiting development of the entire 179 acre Crystal Spring/Mas Que Farm property to the 140 housing units allowed under the City’s Comprehensive Plan including any senior housing, while also preventing any commercial/retail development on the site?



3. If elected, would you support and work to amend the state Forest Conservation Act or the County forest conservation ordinance so that it would require a 100% reforestation requirement for any forests cleared in all developments with such reforestation being done on site or on nearby land and no loopholes such as allowing a payment-in-lieu-of-replanting? These changes would achieve a true no-net-loss of forest in the county and the state.



4. If elected, would you support and work to enact amendments to the state Critical Area and Stormwater Management laws, or to similar county laws, that would include much tighter requirements for waivers from the Critical Area law and a requirement for a no-net-increase in the rate, volume, or pollutant loads of stormwater from new developments?





  • Sarah Elfreth (D): Yes to all four
  • Ron George (R): Yes to questions 1, 2 and 3 with the following note for question four: “Likely – need to see it (don’t want loopholes) and to see how it’s determined”
  • Christopher Wallace, Sr. (L): Did not respond


  • Alice Cain (D): Yes to all four
  • Mike Busch (D): Did not respond
  • Chelsea Gill (R): Did not respond
  • Bob O’Shea (R): Did not respond


  • Mike Shay (D): Yes to all four
  • Seth Howard (R): Did not respond


  • Steuart Pittman (D): Yes to all four
  • Steve Schuh, Incumbent (R): Did not respond


  • Lisa Brannigan Rodvien (D): Yes to all four
  • Michael Christman (R): Yes to all four


  • James Kitchin (D): Yes to all four
  • Jessica Haire (R): Did not respond

Click here to see the signed questionnaires from each candidate.

8 thoughts on “Local State and County Candidates’ Positions on Crystal Spring and Responsible Growth

  1. The deep divisions between Democratic and Republicans have rarely so cut and dry. I found the results startling and scary. Personally, no growth can be dangerous in terms of maintaining a vibrant, progressive community; however, stupid, uninformed, greedy development is 100 times worse than zero growth.

  2. Reforestation does not compensate for damaging old growth forests. More strict measures are needed to protect old growth forests from development. Again, reforestation does not compensate for the damage to the ecosystems of old growth.

  3. I agree with you, Anthony. Corey, “no growth” would be fine in Annapolis at this point. How much more pavement and traffic can the region take? Grow/ change what is already developed. No more concrete. Old growth forests must not be touched.

  4. Presumably, most local citizens have noted how the local governments, Annapolis City and Anne Arundel County are allowing developers to build high rise housing on every piece of undeveloped property in Annapolis and surrounding areas. This is occurring while the road traffic is bumper to bumper for many hours of the day. Schools are overcrowded while areas for new schools are disappearing. Crime in Annapolis is increasing with increasing population density. Obviously a majority of the voting public wants big government with the above attendant problems. Unfortunately selling a home in an area where the politicians want growth at any cost, is a difficult task. Thus the home-owner loses his accrued savings.

  5. I agree with Michael Paredes. Also, in sharing the views of William Rynone above, our area will lose not only its status as a desirable place to live, but also an unforeseeable number of current residents, and, consequently, its tax base.

  6. Keep it simple: a “no” or a “no respond” should be handled by a no response at the voting poll!

  7. Do we want to be Annapolis or Baltimore? That’s the question and the track were on at the moment is Baltimore. I like small town Annapolis. That’s why I live here. The developers will tell you they know better. They don’t! Our quality of life and property values will suffer with increased development and traffic (which every developer study says will have no impact – HA!). Agree with all the above and Corey’s statement that no growth is preferred to greedy development.

  8. I watched in dismay as the deer and other animals stampeded in confusion when all the forest was removed behind the CVS and constantly hear from neighbors that the deer are eating their landscaping. What, exactly, did they expect? We are cutting down every last scrap of forestland we have. It is disheartening. I’d like to see growth limited and I want Crystal Springs to not cut the acreage that is forested.

Comments are closed.