Many residents of Oyster Harbor are aware of the proposed massive Crystal Spring development not far from our community which would be built at the intersection of Forest Drive and Spa Road where most of us travel each day. The proposed development, headed by a Connecticut firm, would add close to 500 housing units and another shopping mall with a large food store, a new West Marine store, an 80-room hotel, and restaurants, two residential health centers for the residents at the development, a chapel, offices, and other retail stores. The developer notes that there will be 1,000 new residents when it is finished.
A large 6-story three-winged senior apartment building with 283 units is planned with all of the commercial development closest to Forest Drive. There also will be 116 non-age restricted town houses and 37 senior single family units, with two-car garages topping out at 2,700 sq. ft. for seniors who can afford the $1 million for these larger units (with 90% back on re-sale). In addition, owners must pay a $7,000 monthly fee. The smallest apartment units in the 6-story building (850 sq. ft.) would go for $450,000 and a $3,000 monthly fee.
Crystal Spring is a 111-acre site that has 82 acres of mature, mixed hardwood forest with numerous large trees estimated to be between 80 to 100 years old scattered throughout the site. The developer’s proposal pending before the City of Annapolis would destroy more than 42 acres of this forest and the City could approve it at any time.
The Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation, Sierra Club, Severn Riverkeeper, and other groups and leaders around this 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 500 new residences and high-traffic businesses like a 54,000 sq. ft. food store and restaurants and a hotel will greatly increase traffic in the dangerous Forest Drive corridor—remember Trafficgeddon? Driving on the Forest Drive corridor is the most dangerous thing we do daily. All of us know of someone involved in an accident on this corridor or have been in an accident ourselves.
Replacement of 42 acres of mature forest with 1,740 parking spaces, roads, many buildings, and the mall will aggravate already serious water quality problems, and the wildlife and air quality benefits of 42 acres of forest will be lost.
What can you do? First, join your neighbors in contributing to the Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund that is set-up to fight this development. You may send your tax deductible donations to the Severn Riverkeeper, 329 Riverview Trail, Annapolis, MD 21401 with the check made out to Severn Riverkeeper with a note that it is for the Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund and also make that notation in the “For” line on the check. Every cent in the Fund goes towards the fight to help preserve our quality of life and natural heritage.
Second, please send an email to the Mayor asking him to stick with his campaign pledge and to reject this development as currently pending before the City and also write Alderman Jared Littmann, the owner of True Value. The Mayor’s emails: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Alderman Littmann’s: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, when you visit True Value, try to speak with Jared.