On May 4, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS) filed their plans with the city to build a senior only development of 303 homes and 48 assisted living units called The Village at Providence Point. All retail and non-senior housing has been eliminated. Through recent productive meetings with NLCS and discussions with City officials, we have made major progress in ensuring the highest environmental protections for this development, but we still have a few minor issues to work out.
1. Reduce Forest Clearing and Replant 100% on Site
NLCS will fully adhere to the City’s no net loss ordinance and provide reforestation on site for all 27.75 acres to be cleared. All 87.5 acres of remaining forest will be preserved in perpetuity along with the 27.75 acres replanted. Eventually, 115.5 forested acres would remain on the site permanently protected, the same amount that exists currently. Every filing prior to this one included somewhere from little to no reforestation–the last filing in January 2019 proposed clearing 30 acres and replanting zero.
We are very pleased with this result. However, we have some concerns with the lack of details in the plans for the reforestation. The plans only show where a small amount of the 27.75 acres of reforestation will take place on the site. Also, there is no delineation of the size, species, number, or placement of trees on more than 24 acres to be reforested. While there are many pages of the filings specifically delineating the placement, species, and number of 300 landscaping trees and shrubs in and around the senior living facilities, there are no such details for 24 acres of reforestation. This is a gap in the filing that must be resolved.
2. No Net Increase in Pollutant Loads from Stormwater
The stormwater plans filed are excellent and will meet our goal of retaining or treating 100% of all stormwater generated by the development so as not to increase rate, volume, or pollutant loads from a 25-year storm event. The plans feature 89 discrete stormwater bio-retention cells around the buildings and roads to allow stormwater to settle and percolate into groundwater after being filtered by 4 feet, 7 inches of soil and gravel. These stormwater cells will collectively cover 1.6 acres. There will also be multiple raingardens, some green roofs, and porous driveways.
Additionally, NLCS has minimized impervious surfaces by placing 280 of the 347 parking spaces underground at greater expense.
The one snag on stormwater involves the restoration of a polluted stream channel that runs under Spa Road across from the Annapolis Middle School and drains 43 acres directly into Crab Creek. While we commend NLCS for agreeing to restore this major and long-time source of pollution to Crab Creek, their original plans they shared with us months ago showed 700 linear feet of necessary restoration. They reduced this to 502 feet in their filings, leaving it up to the city to decide. We are insisting on the full 700 feet of restoration as originally proposed unless regulators lessen it.