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A Detailed Look at How the Site Plan Revisions Reflect the Input and Questions We Received from the City and Others

July 16, 2014

The  updated Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan was developed following the initial submittal on May 24, 2013 and responded to DNEP’s June 28, 2013 letter and the comments and instruction therein. Some of DNEP’s remarks were of a general nature; others took the form of specific directives. A central message of DNEP’s letter, however, was the request that Crystal Spring Development (CSD) create a consolidated environmental mapping to show all environmental features on a single sheet and then to reconsider the ability to adjust the proposed development in light of the environmental mapping. CSD’s team, headed by Annapolis Landscape Architects, developed the consolidated environmental mapping based upon input provided by DNEP, DPZ, and others. The mapping then functioned as a new baseline for project planning. The mapping,  includes information on:

- Hydrology

- Forest Stands

- Specimen Trees

- Steep slopes, wetlands and other natural resources per Natural Resources Article, § 5-1607 (c)

- Arborist-identified individual tree stands with best survivability

Once this mapping was completed, CSD established a priority ranking of environmental resources to be retained. The ranking order established was:

1.         Intermittent Drainage Way

2.         MDE-designated “vernal pool”

3.         Non-tidal wetlands

4.         Steep Slopes

5.         Wildlife Corridor

6.         Tree stands that connect Arborist-identified tree stands

Using the consolidated environmental mapping as a guide toward potential revisions, CSD made several significant plan modifications that reflect the priority ranking established above.

In addition, DNEP requested that CSD specifically investigate alternatives that would relocate the main CCRC building from its prior location to an area of the property on the Forest Drive side of the intermittent drainage way with the aim of creating a larger wildlife corridor through the middle section of the site. This relocation was accomplished, resulting in a larger wildlife corridor which now encompasses approximately 50 acres, and removing all proposed development from potential impacts to identified environmental features in that region of the property.  See the Consolidated Environmental Mapping included herewith.

Overall site plan improvements have been accomplished by instituting the following major plan modifications as reflected in this revised Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan:

  1. The main CCRC building and the health care facility, a total of approximately 400,000 square-feet of development, have been relocated from their previous location to a portion of the retail/commercial mixed-use development section on the Forest Drive side of the intermittent drainage way. This area previously contained retail development, with age-restricted housing above retail, and also the Inn & Spa, all of which were supported by on-grade parking. The modified plan contains only the main CCRC building, health care and CCRC wellness facilities in this area with under-building parking for its residents and only limited staff and visitor on-grade parking for staff and visitors near the building entrances. 
  2. As a result of the relocation of the main CCRC building and related facilities, the previously planned access road to the main CCRC building, which included a vehicle bridge over the intermittent drainage way, has been eliminated. The existing Crystal Spring Farm Road, which will be improved, is now proposed as the main access road to the rear of the property.
  3. The portions of the Continuing Care Retirement Community to be developed beyond the main CCRC building and its health care facility have been reduced in scope and footprint. One of the three “Maison Court” 20-unit independent living buildings has been eliminated and consolidated into the main CCRC building within the Forest Drive side of the development, and the remaining two (2) “Maison Court” buildings and 24 of the 33 cottage units have all been located in non-forested areas. Only the nine (9) cottage units in Phase 1 of the CCRC development are planned within the forested area of the property on the opposite  side of the intermittent drainage way from the main CCRC building. These small independent cottages, with no basements, will be developed in a way that will insure that existing hydrology now sheet feeding pocket wetlands and the intermittent drainage way are maintained.
  4. A minimum 100-foot setback from Forest Drive has been created which will reduce the visual impact from Forest Drive.

A graphic illustration of the progress that has been achieved throughout the site plan revision process is represented on the image from a previous blog post (scroll to our July 2, 2014 post, “Crystal Spring Project, Project Statistics – Comparison of Building Footprint & Hardscape Areas”). The three plans depict snapshots of the multi-year planning process at critical points, and the evolution of the project. The first layout, from April 2011, shows the plan as proposed to and reviewed by the City’s Planning Commission during workshop sessions. The second layout, from May 2013, shows the plan submitted to DNEP as part of the initial Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan submittal. The third layout shows the current revised Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan.

See the PDF links, below, to view the Statistical Comparison Chart and the Consolidated Environmental Mapping.
 

View Statistical Comparison Chart

View Consolidated Environmental Mapping

Crystal Spring Annapolis Site Plan

July 10, 2014

Key Achievements and Site Plan Modifications in Recent Submission

July 2, 2014

On June 25, 2014, Crystal Spring filed its response to comments from the City of Annapolis with regard to its previously filed Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan. The response included significant modifications to the site plan and significant improvements to the project’s forest conservation and environmental justification under the Forest Conservation Act.

The following is a list of key achievements and site plan modifications contained in the recent response submission:

1.     The site plan was modified from the prior Forest Conservation Plan submission to relocate the main CCRC building and its related health care facilities to the retail / mixed use section of the property resulting in the reduction of approximately 35,000 square feet of retail / commercial space and 40 residential units above retail. The overall building, parking and roadway footprint has been reduced by 32.5% through a multi-year planning process with City Planning and DNEP.

2.     The Forest Conservation acreage has increased to a level 25% greater than the City of Annapolis established requirement and 66% greater than the State Forest Conservation Act requirement. The project’s forest conservation acreage plus voluntary on-site afforestation covers 45 acres and exceeds the 43.5 acre goal requested by the City of Annapolis Environmental Commission in 2012.

3.     Crystal Spring achieves greater than a 53% tree canopy exceeding the 50% tree canopy goal established in the City of Annapolis Comprehensive Plan.

4.     The Crystal Spring site plan now provides a 50 acre wildlife corridor through the middle of its property through the areas in which environmental features under the Forest Conservation Act and identified by the Annapolis Environmental Commission are located. 

5.     Forest Conservation and Open Space Easements will be placed on more than 125 acres of the property, including property retained by its current owner. This represents a larger property set-aside than all currently existing conservation easements in the City of Annapolis combined.

6.     Crystal Spring’s stormwater management program is enhanced by the project’s use of green roofs, permeable asphalt, geo-thermal heating and cooling, and bio-swales in parking and roadway areas.

Over the next few weeks, Crystal Spring will provide more details about the modifications and enhancements included in the recent submission. See our previous post, below, showing the image associated with item #1 regarding site plan changes.

Site Plan Modifications: 2011-2014

July 2, 2014

During a multi-year planning process with City Planning and DNEP, the building, parking and roadway footprint has been reduced by 32.5%.

Please click on the image below to view the pdf.

 

Today We Filed the Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan

June 25, 2014

Today we filed the Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan – a response to City of Annapolis review questions regarding plans for Crystal Spring Annapolis. We look forward to continuing to work with City officials and members of the Annapolis community as we bring a new concept in retirement living to Annapolis. Please check this website for blog posts and updates to keep the public informed as we continue through the approval process. You can also find updates on our project-focused Twitter account - @CrystalSpring_. While you might have heard opposition to the community from a small but vocal crowd of misguided activists opposed to any growth, our hope is you will turn to us for the facts and help us by sharing accurate information about Crystal Spring.

*Proposed Continuing Care Retirement Community is subject to approval by the Maryland Department of Aging.
Recent Tweets
  • Fri Jul 18, 2014 "For facts about @CrystalSpring_ and to view the site plan, visit [http://t.co/wsC43ZLmXU]"
  • Thu Jul 17, 2014 "RT @NLCSNews: We first started in DC in 1890 ... an amazing legacy that this building still serves seniors. Here's the chapel! http://t.co/…"
  • Wed Jul 16, 2014 "How the @CrystalSpring_ site plan revisions reflect the input and questions we received from the City and others http://t.co/htEu4DF9OE"
  • Wed Jul 16, 2014 "How the @CrystalSpring_ site plan revisions reflect the input and questions we received from the City and others: http://t.co/UOMNz1Cd0i"
  • Tue Jul 15, 2014 "Visit [http://t.co/wsC43ZLmXU] to view the @CrystalSpring_ site plan and to access facts about the project."
  • Mon Jul 14, 2014 "Forest Conservation and Open Space Easements will be placed on more than 125 acres of the @CrystalSpring_ property: http://t.co/bmK0LddawR"
  • Mon Jul 14, 2014 "See the summary of key achievements and site plan modifications contained in the recent response submission: http://t.co/bmK0LddawR"
  • Fri Jul 11, 2014 "Visit [http://t.co/wsC43ZLmXU] to view the @CrystalSpring_ site plan and to access facts about the project."
  • Fri Jul 11, 2014 "See the summary of key achievements and site plan modifications contained in the recent response submission: http://t.co/bmK0LddawR"
  • Fri Jul 11, 2014 "Our jobs program includes employee transportation, opportunities for minority businesses, job training and a returning Veteran initiative."

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