Crystal Spring Facts
The Crystal Spring Farm development would turn the last remaining city forest into a development with a footprint three times the size of Annapolis Towne Center at Parole. We are a group of citizens concerned about this proposed development because of its impacts on the Environment in general, Water Quality, School Overcrowding and Traffic.
Here are the facts:
For an overview, see the Fact Sheet.
The Environment -- This property is the last remaining large stand of forest within Annapolis City limits. The City is allowing the weakest possible interpretation of the State's 21 year-old Forest Conservation Act, under which the City has the authority to limit forest and wetland destruction. Learn more.
Water Quality -- Increasing impervious surface (i.e., concrete and parking lots) in the drainage to Crab Creek/South River will cause erosion and more water pollution. Planned buffers are not extensive enough to make a difference. Learn more.
School Overcrowding -- Plans for Crystal Spring include 130 non-age-limited town homes that could further overcrowd area schools. Learn more.
Traffic -- Traffic on Forest drive already slows to a crawl at rush hour. Another retail center plus 500+ more living units will make this worse. Learn more.
Public Process -- The proposal is contrary to the City's comprehensive plan and has been called "all but a done deal" before any public hearings were held on it. If this project can continue without the public weighing in, what else can happen?
Crystal Spring Case in Court
(March 24, 2014)
Backed by the Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund, opponents of the development argued in Court March 24 that the city’s Board of Appeals erred in not allowing an appeal of a key city step toward approving an important development go-ahead. See Capital reporter Jack Lambert’s story HERE.
What We Seek
We urge that all efforts be made to preserve and protect Crystal Spring in its entirety through purchase using state Program Open Space funds and other funds to justly compensate the owner and permanently protect Crystal Spring as open space. If this cannot be accomplished, we urge that a conservation easement be purchased to protect and preserve the land and fairly compensate the owner while allowing her use and enjoyment of the property.
Should such acquisition that would fairly compensate the landowner not prove possible, we support a significant downsizing of the proposed development to scale back and move all senior-related development to the north closest to Forest Drive and the elimination of all of the non-senior related development so as to minimize forest destruction. All forest cleared would be replaced on site on at least a one-to-one basis and all wetlands would be protected. A permanent conservation easement extinguishing all development rights would be placed on all acreage not developed as well as another such easement on the 75-acres at the adjoining Mas-Que Farm.
Click on the video, by Mark Duehmig, to see just what we stand to lose if acre upon acre is bulldozed. Get a bird's eye view of the expanse of the beautiful Crystal Spring forest.
A “New” Plan, an Old Story
The latest plan for Crystal Spring, says the developer in a Capital article, is a lot better than the first two plans that have been rejected by the community. Sounds good, until you get the rest of the story, which includes even more residences than ever.
Check out this response to the “new” plan here.
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Hundreds Attend Forum on Area Traffic, Development
“…Engineers often use letter grades to summarize how well a road is serving the community. Forest Drive scores only D’s and F’s.”
-- ARTMA Director Dave Humprheys
Read the Annapolis Capital’s coverage of the June 3 forum at St. John’s College devoted to citizen concerns over traffic and development on the Annapolis Neck Peninsula. Experts warned that Forest Drive is to capacity and urged no new developments be approved until infrastructure is in place to handle a crush of new cars that development would draw to the area.
See the Slide Presentation
Traffic, Development & the Future
of the Annapolis Neck Peninsula
Here’s the powerpoint presentation seen by the 350-400 people who attended the citywide forum June 3 on Traffic, Development and the Future of the Annapolis Neck Peninsula. Get all the details on what developers have coming on the Peninsula, current and projected traffic problems, and the effect on schools, the environment and downtown Annapolis businesses.
click on the pdf icon below
Help us in the fight to protect the best of Annapolis!
Our campaign to stop the destruction of the last surviving forest in Annapolis will likely end up in court. The developers have very deep pockets and Crystal Spring is a huge investment that they will pull out all stops to protect. We are preparing for that by building our own war chest to defend our natural heritage from desecration. Our research has shown that a realistic minimum for our Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund is $100,000.
Many citizens have generously contributed -- some $5,000 or more. But it's not nearly enough and we need your help. Please donate whatever you can. Even a few dollars will help protect the forest. Tax-deductible contributions can be made online thanks to assistance from the Severn Riverkeeper. To donate, click on the button above. NOTE that you MUST put "CS Legal Defense Fund" in the "Comments & Other Instructions" box on the form.
If you would like to make a greater impact on the preservation of the environment and the health and well-being of all Annapolitans with a substantial donation, please contact us.