Capital LTE: “Village at Providence Point is a model project”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, June 12, 2022

The letter from Laura Townsend opposing The Village at Providence Point senior-only living facility is misguided on several key points. Instead of attacking former Sen. Winegrad, she should be praising his near decade of commitment to making this a model project. His tenacity turned a destructive sprawling development into a win-win for National Lutheran Communities & Services (the developer), seniors, and the community.

As a resident of the Annapolis Neck Peninsula who must pass the site daily, I have worked with Winegrad off and on since 2013 to perfect the plans. I am pleased to join Concerned Citizens for Proper Land Use in withdrawing all objections to the project.

This is because: traffic flows will not be worsened and may be improved; forest conservation goals have been achieved for 100% reforestation so that the 124 acres there now will remain protected; stormwater management will likely improve Crab Creek water quality with the restored steam channel; and through easements and deed restrictions all land outside the development footprint will be protected from future development with few minor exceptions.

I had the great honor to chair the State Park Investment Commission for the General Assembly this session. We were successful in securing over $400 million in new investment in our parks and forests. After all of that work and support from the community I would not support a project that did harm to our environment.

That is why I am very pleased the protection of the trees and forest land is an extraordinary part of the Village at Providence Point plan. We only need to look at the historic devastation caused by climate change across our nation and around the world. Trees are a strong front line defense against the ravages of climate change, To permanently protect such a large tract in the city limits is truly remarkable.

As the originator of Maryland’s Smart Growth program, I commend Winegrad and all who worked so hard to achieve this outcome that advances important goals for Smart Growth. We must remember, Smart Growth does not mean no growth. It means growth in the right place with the right environmental safeguards.

Parris N. Glendening, Annapolis

The writer was governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003.