Parkside Preserve originally proposed 152 residences, half townhouses, half single-family, on 40 acres of land. It is located west of the intersection of Forest Drive at Bay Ridge Ave./Hillsmere Drive, and is adjacent to the northern edge of Quiet Waters Park.
ANPF led several legal actions. The most recent are summarized here.
On August 9, 2016, the Circuit Court judge dismissed our appeal of the Forest Conservation Plan of the Parkside Preserve development because the City, failing to properly adopt the State Forest Conservation Act, lacks an appeal process. (City Council is correcting that by putting the appeal process in the new Forest Conservation law.)
ANPF lead community efforts to reverse that dismissal by taking it to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals because the right to appeal a bureaucrat’s decision is fundamental to governance. Meanwhile, the legal wheels will turn very slowly while this all works out. On June 1, 2017 the appellate Court dismissed our request on a technicality of what sort of request to file.
The developer now had the ability to move forward. But the city was hesitant because we still were pressing Annapolis Mayor Pantilides to use his authority to reject the Forest Conservation Plan because citizens’ public comment was denied, the plan misrepresented the forest’s condition, the original city approval (by the non-defunct Dept of Environment and Neighborhoods) was over 5 years old and based on incorrect information.
In October 2017, Mayor Panitilides authorized the City of Annapolis to use $1.5 million of funds received from the State’s Open Space Program to purchase a couple dozen lots covering 4.4 acres, in the southwest corner of the property, contiguous to Quiet Waters Park. The land will be placed in a conservation easement and never be developed. It will be a public park.
ANPF is pleased that the City of Annapolis preserved a portion of this Priority One, quality forest. We’d have preferred that the Forest Conservation Act was better enforced and the City did not have to “play catch-up” by spending funds to correct serious administrative deficiencies. Nonetheless, the forest is in safe hands and that is what counts most.