Crystal Spring

Many residents of the Annapolis area are aware of the proposed massive Crystal Spring development at the intersection of Forest Drive and Spa Road where we travel every day. The proposal, by a Connecticut developer, would add 475 housing units and another shopping mall with a large, 54,000 sq.-foot food store, a new West Marine store, an 80-room hotel, and restaurants, two residential health centers (on-site residents only), a chapel, offices, other retail stores, and large, uncovered parking lots.

The retail/commercial development will be close to Forest Drive. Behind the retail shops, hotel, restaurants, etc., they propose a large six-story three-winged senior apartment building with 289 units, and two 20-unit apartment buildings. Plus they want to build 33 single family units for seniors only, with two-car garages topping out at 2,700 sq. ft. for seniors who can afford the $1 million cost. And all seniors will pay a hefty monthly fee. And there's more housing: 113 non-age-restricted town houses to be sold at market rates. The developer says when they get done, they'll add 1,000 new residents with their cars plus the cars of employees.

Crystal Spring is a 111-acre site that currently has 82 acres of mature, mixed hardwood forest. Numerous large trees estimated to be between 80 to 100 years old are throughout the site. The developer’s proposal, pending before the City of Annapolis, would destroy more than 43 acres of this forest. The City has the legal right to protect the forest and ask for a better site plan. Or the City could approve the site plans now, and the forest would largely come down and traffic congestion would greatly go up!

The Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation, Sierra Club, Severn Riverkeeper, and other groups and leaders from our area are fighting this development to assure traffic, school overcrowding, and environmental concerns are dealt with properly before any approvals are given by the City.

Such a huge development with 475 new residences and high-traffic retail businesses will greatly increase traffic in the dangerous Forest Drive corridor—remember Trafficgeddon? Driving on the Forest Drive corridor is our most risky daily activity. Why make it worse? All of us know of someone involved in an accident on this corridor or have been in an accident ourselves.

What can you do? Here's suggested actions.

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Thank you for your participation in our civic life and your commitment to our quality of life.

Scott Mobley

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