Bernstein & Feldman, P.A.

Providing Personal Counsel
And Representation For Over
30 Years

Council asked to add schools to development impact checklist

A battle is brewing at the Annapolis City Council that once again pits residential real estate developers against current city residents, especially residents with school-age children. The debate is over proposed legislation that would add school capacity to the city's analysis of housing development proposals.

School population is considered at the county level, but the city is not bound by the county's rules. At least one Anne Arundel County commissioner supports the measure; in his letter to the council, Councilman Chris Trumbauer, D-Annapolis, said everyone would benefit by fixing the "deficiency" in the current law.

The leading example for proponents of the measure is Hillsmere Elementary. According to the county school board, Hillsmere and four other schools in Annapolis have no room for new students. With a capacity of 476 students, a school system representative said, Hillsmere is projected to enroll 540 students for the 2014 school year. New housing in the area would push the school past its limits.

Opponents of the bill said it was no coincidence that Hillsmere came up. Residents of the controversial Crystal Spring and the Reserve at Quiet Waters developments would send their children to Hillsmere. The bill is "a Trojan Horse," according to a member of the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation; it is a potential ban on residential development framed as an education bill.

In response, a resident tacitly confirmed the allegation. The council needs to remember, she said, that we are not here to help developers or to help bring new people to the community "before we take care of our own."

Members of the council kept their thoughts to themselves during the meeting. A vote could come as early as Oct. 28.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Annapolis residents speak on development impact on schools," Elisha Sauers, Oct. 15, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information