As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to update you on our efforts to protect the forests, wetlands, and fields of Crystal Spring. So far, not one square foot has been developed and all forest remains, but the battle is gearing up again. The City rejected the last formal plans in August 2017. Since then, the developer, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS), has been meeting with city planning staff and working on a new proposal for their senior community, now called the Village at Providence Point.
Thanks to our efforts, the development plans now under discussion have been reduced to include 303 senior homes and apartments and 48 assisted living units. The number of homes was reduced from 383 in their last filing and from more than 500 in the original plans. All retail/commercial uses and non-senior housing have been eliminated. Aside from the 35-acre footprint of the senior project, all development rights will be extinguished on the rest of the 180-acre property except for a new Wellness House and some equestrian-related improvements.
After many futile requests to meet, NLCS finally agreed to sit down with our leaders. We discussed the new plans and had the opportunity to present our concerns. While our meetings were productive, the developer’s subsequent Planning Commission presentation showed that the major issues we raised remain unresolved. We need your help to ensure that your/our concerns are resolved. Please attend the developer’s upcoming public meeting on January 3rd at 7pm at St. Martin’s Church and help us raise the issues below!
These remaining issues include mitigating traffic; managing stormwater to prevent any increase in polluted runoff to Crab Creek; reducing trees cleared and reforesting on site 100% of forest cleared; and adopting a conservation easement to protect the remaining 145-acres of land forever. Click here for a flyer with more details. These concerns have been discussed in detail with NLCS, their development team, city planning staff, Mayor Buckley, and Planning Commission members. All parties are aware that these issues must be addressed. The good news is that, with your support, the development has shrunk and we are making progress on the remaining issues of concern. On November 19, we helped gain passage of a No Net Loss ordinance by the City that will require developers to replant 100% of forest cleared, including all forest taken down at Crystal Spring.
Thousands of Annapolis area residents like you have engaged in this process for many years and continue to express opposition over substantial traffic and environmental impacts. We now have over 5,100 followers on Facebook, and thanks to our donors, we have reached tens of thousands more with paid advertising.
We are hard at work on your behalf each day to achieve our goals, but these efforts come at a great financial cost. We rely on donations to our Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund for all costs associated with fighting this development. These costs include paying our land use attorney, communications director, and web development firm.
So please, as 2018 comes to a close, will you help us succeed by making a fully tax-deductible donation today? We would like to thank those who have already sent in donations. Your support will be crucial as we work on your behalf to ensure that traffic conditions are improved, there is no net loss of forest, polluted stormwater is prevented, and remaining land is never developed.
Thank you for your support and have a safe and happy New Year! We hope to see you at the public meeting on January 3rd at 7pm at St. Martin’s!
The Stop Crystal Spring Team