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Crystal Spring opposition mounts while developer stands firm

Opponents to the Crystal Spring Annapolis project held a meeting recently in an effort to coordinate the campaign to stop the development. Before the meeting, a representative from the development company suggested that the opposition basically amounted to a "couple dozen vocal critics."

Their estimate was a little low: Several hundred people showed up at the meeting.

The audience heard, perhaps not for the first time, that the development would overburden the area's infrastructure and would compromise a large portion of the city's dwindling forestland. The organizers urged everyone there to sign petitions, to write to local newspapers and to contact Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen. They passed the hat, too, for contributions to a legal defense fund, in case the battle ends up in court.

That same evening, representatives from the development company met with potential residents of the senior housing and assisted living community. The developer says that interest is growing, and that the addition of retail space, townhouses and an arts center to the development will attract jobs and tax revenue to the area.

The mayor's response was that he really had no power over the matter. He explained that the land is zoned appropriately, and the land is slated for development in the city's comprehensive plan. He added that neither he nor the City Council has the power to give the project a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

What seems odd to some is that so far the proposal is barely even a proposal. The developer has not filed an application with the city, and the property has yet to change hands.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Massive Annapolis proposal spurs neighborhood battle," Pamela Wood, June 24, 2013