Controlling Growth and Development in Annapolis

Trudy McFall, Democratic Candidate For Mayor

Trudy McFall, Democratic Candidate For Mayor

We need to plan for our City with controlled, modest growth.  This growth needs to be of a density, scale and design that preserve the special charm and character that is Annapolis.  With only two percent of developable land left in the City, virtually all of our future development will be infill and redevelopment.  This means that development will be impacting existing neighborhoods and utilizing infrastructure that is aged and was originally built to support lower density development.  We are already coping with unresolved traffic and transit issues that will only be made worse by significantly increasing density before we know how we will resolve these issues.

We are right now in the middle of adopting a new Annapolis Comprehensive Plan that will shape the character of our City from now to 2030.  I believe this Plan calls for an amount and scale of new development that is not in the best interests of Annapolis and is not, in my judgment, what our citizens want.  The Plan says that Annapolis has a “development potential” for up to 2,570 additional housing units and almost 1.5 million square feet of more commercial space.  The Plan further directs all of this new development to be concentrated into four “opportunity areas,” the Forest Drive/Bay Ridge corridor, Outer West Street and the West Annapolis Village.  If developed to these potential levels, the density increases would have a huge negative impact on these neighborhoods and the City as a whole.

Trudy McFall testifying at Congressional hearing.

Trudy McFall testifying at a Congressional hearing.

In addition to increasing density, the Plan also calls for increasing the size and scale of the buildings allowed.   In a City where development has generally been one to three stories, the Plan proposes in the four opportunity areas to allow buildings to be four to eight stories, depending on the area.  This scale and density would certainly change our City from its historic and small town feel to a much more urban area.

Despite calls for greater density, the Plan lacks a clear plan of action for improving our roads and public transit.  The Plan acknowledges that our major roads now have “deteriorating levels of service” and by 2030 will have “severe congestion” and “failing levels of service.”   The Plan proposes some studies and lays out general principals, but does not propose actionable solutions.

I have been active in my own neighborhood of West Annapolis leading our Development Committee, preparing reports and making recommendations to reduce the density and scale in the Plan, making presentations to other neighborhood groups, and testifying at all of the public hearings.  This Plan will guide how our City grows and develops under the next Mayor.  I believe that my actions have demonstrated my commitment to resist excessive growth and density in Annapolis.

Trudy McFall is a Democratic candidate for Mayor of Annapolis. Trudy has over 35 years of executive management experience, is founder and Chairman of an Annapolis-based business, Homes for America, and is a long-time civic activist. To learn more about Trudy’s background and position on issues, as well as to contribute to her campaign, please visit www.trudymcfall.com (By Authority, Friends of Trudy McFall, Miranda Darden, Treasurer).

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