Annapolis Neck Issues and Updates

Update on Forest Drive Development
by Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation

Below is a summary of the status of most development proposals along Forest Drive, totaling 1,205 residential units. The impacts on traffic, schools and forests is being discussed at all levels of government.

The City Council is preparing legislation to protect forests during the development process. The Forest Conservation Act, O-22-16, is currently under intense review. It improves prior regulations and does contain many good provisions, but still fails to address some of major problems. For example, it does not halt the clearing of the forest while approvals are being appealed, which makes appealing administrative approvals entirely useless. Another unresolved issue is that the procedure for getting a variance on forest protection requirements fails to give the public any say, unlike the public hearing required for Zoning variances.

City Council is also preparing legislation for adequacy of public facilities for schools, R-36-15. The Capital reported on 7/17/16 that local elementary schools' capacities are: Tyler Heights, 134%, 14 portable classrooms; Georgetown East, 56%; Eastport, 77%. Hillsmere Elementary is has 4 portable classrooms to accommodate overcrowding. Annapolis Senior High's capacity is also over 100%.

Several annexations of property into the City's jurisdiction (see below*) had signed their agreements with the City over ten years ago and have been found to have not fulfilled the obligation to hook up to city water/sewer and perform other actions related to development within ten years. This is effectively a breach of contract. City Council is considering what to do about this unique problem. Meanwhile, the possible renegotiation of the Annexation Agreements has slowed development planning.

Status on Development Projects
From the Western End of Forest Drive and Moving Eastward

Rocky Gorge* (48 units on 20 acres including 13 acres in Critical Area) Planned Development Application is being reviewed. Includes proposed access onto Aris T. Allen. State Highway Admin has approved if the developer can submit a plan with an acceleration lane of 1200 feet and that amount of land is nonexistant, i.e., the current proposed egress is too close to Chinquapin Round Rd.

Crystal Spring* (450 retirement units plus plus 130 non-age-restricted TH plus 144,000 sf shopping mall on 111 mostly forested acres on Forest Dr. at Spa Rd.) First document of their Forest Conservation Plan, a natural resource inventory called the Forest Stand Delineation, is under review and expected to be approved. Next step is review of the Forest Conservation Plan.

Woodside Gardens Newtowne 20 (36 units in 2 apartment buildings on 15.46 acres) Forest Stand Delineation is approved but further planning is delayed while new grant funding is being sought.

Parkside Preserve*, aka Reserve at Quiet Waters, (152 units on 40 acres) grading permit is currently being reviewed but ANPF and neighbors have requested Circuit Court to review the City's Building Board of Appeals' approval of their Forest Conservation Plan. ANPF's objective is to protect 13 acres of forest adjacent to Quiet Waters Park that is designated by Maryland state standards as "priority forest". That particular forest is a buffer for the forested wetlands of the park and headwaters of Harness Creek.

Eastport shopping area (about 80 apts. on redeveloped site on Bay Ridge Ave. at Madison Ave.) In early stages of conceptual planning.

Bay Village Assisted Living (82 units on 6.3 acres) is approved. Awaiting approval of a variance related to a setback. ANPF worked with the developer to protect the forest in the rear. It will be a two story building with underground parking and a 2.0 acre forest conservation easement. (The constion easement will be held by the City conservation agency and maintained by the property owner.)

Annapolis Neck LLC, aka Samaras property (5.28 acres on Bay Ridge Rd. at Georgetown Rd. site of C&C Liquor) is not going to annex and is currently applying to the County for a single, large building planned for a Lidl grocery store. ANPF is concerned about protecting the forest in the rear.

Enclave at Spa (36 TH on 3.8 acres on Spa Rd.) is making plans for townhouses but has to remove substantial waste and debris first.

Central Park, aka Pastrana property (45 units on 5 acres at 9 Elliot Road , adjacent to Truxton Park and the City Conservation Easement on the Vytar property). The proposal is for a dense community carved out of a forested area with steep slopes in the Critical Area at the headwaters of Spa Creek and adjacent to protected land.

Chesapeake Grove at Bembe Beach*, aka Rodgers Property, (45 townhouses on 5 acres on Bembe Beach Rd., within Critical Area) has not yet submitted plans.

Development may begin once these properties complete their grading permits reviews: