The Capital: “Our Say: Central issues emerge in Providence Point plan”

Capital Gazette: Editorial, February 22, 2019

By: Capital Gazette Editorial Board

Annapolis must now judge whether the developers of the Villages at Providence Point have reshaped their residential/senior living complex sufficiently to fit within development rules governing the City of Annapolis.

Providence Point is certainly smaller, but the rules offer a narrower path to the start of construction.

We predict two elements of the plans by National Lutheran Communities and Services will prove the crucial points as the plans are reviewed: stormwater control and forest cover.

The developers believe they’ve met two recently tightened city laws — a no-net-loss tree cover law and a requirement that 125 percent of stormwater runoff be treated. Stop Crystal Springs, a group of tenacious opponents, argue they don’t. We suspect both elements of the plan will change.

A third element could also prove difficult the project, the decision not to seek a connector road with the nearest shopping center and grocery store.

Instead of finding common ground with the property owners next door and connecting to Skippers Road, the developers have proposed a plan that would put more short trips on Forest Drive — the worst kind of traffic.

Three city entities that will do the heavy lifting of considering this plan, the Planning and Zoning Office, the Office of Law and the Planning Commission.

And while National Lutheran has worked to address concerns expressed by neighbors, it has to keep an eye on the judgment of neighbors with legal standing.

They’re the ones who can tie the development up in courts, no matter the outcome of the process at City Hall.

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