On March 2, 2017, the Annapolis Planning Commission denied the developer’s proposal for major modification of a sub-division plan that proposed access directly from and onto Aris T Allen Blvd/MD Route 665. To watch a video of the Planning Commission hearing click here.
ANPF opposed access to Aris T. Allen Blvd. It is obviously UNSAFE!
Rocky Gorge is a proposed 46-unit residential development on 23.4 acres of undeveloped land west of the community of Oxford Landing, near the Forest Drive Safeway.
To see the 2014 site plan for the proposed Rocky Gorge development click on Rocky Gorge proposed subdivision
BACKGROUND ON ROCKY GORGE
The 2004 Annexation Agreement stated that “When developed, principal access to the site shall be from Yawl Road through the Oxford Landing subdivision.” (Item #10) However, Yawl Road is highly congested and the Oxford Landing community objects to more traffic because of concerns for safety.
The developer has requested access to Aris T. Allen Blvd. Yes, that’s Maryland Route 665, a freeway with traffic at 65 MPH.
Usually, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) does not allow access to highways from private subdivisions. In May 2014 SHA declined access. In February 2016, SHA allowed access, requiring a full acceleration lane of 1,200 feet plus a 1,300 foot taper lane from the subdivision’s exit onto Aris T Allen Blvd/MD Rte 665 to the intersection of Chinquapin Round Rd. and Forest Drive.
By June 2016 SHA acquiesced more, allowing the project to have a 562 foot acceleration lane plus a taper lane 180 feet. Since about 60% of the traffic exiting Rocky Gorge would want to make a U-turn back onto Aris T Allen/Rte 665, vehicles would have to accelerate and weave three lanes over within that distance. Good luck…and hold onto your auto insurance policy!
Here are graphical images of the two proposed access points: Yawl Rd. and Aris T Allen Blvd/MD Route 665: Rocky Gorge, possible access points: Aris T Allen Blvd or Yawl Dr.
Forest Conservation Plan
The Subdivision plat was approved by the Annapolis Planning Commission on Sept. 18, 2008. The Forest Conservation Plan was presumably approved at the same time but Planning & Zoning says they lost the file.
A revised Forest Conservation Plan was approved on June 23, 2014 and 9 acres of forest were immediately bulldozed. Oxford Landing residents, appalled at the forest destruction, and with the support of ANPF and Chesapeake Legal Alliance, appealed that approval but were dismissed by the Annapolis Building Board of Appeals. The Building Board said the appeal should have been made when the Forest Conservation Plan was approved in 2008, despite the lack of evidence that the Plan ever existed. A decision exemplary for its’ circular thinking, won’t you say?!
Owner: Rialto Capital Mgt., a wholly owned subsidiary and the financial arm of Lennar Homes. Lennar is a Fortune 500 company and the nation’s second largest home builder with $9.5 Billion gross revenues in 2015. Lennar is building many residential subdivisions in Anne Arundel County. In Parole, Lennar is building the 293-unit 6-story “Tapestry” apartment building on Holly Ave. off West St. and behind the Double-T Diner.
Jurisdictions: Rocky Gorge property was annexed into City of Annapolis in April 2003 and May 2005 and is zoned R1-A. . Yawl Road is an Annapolis road. Chinquapin Round Rd. and Forest Dr. are Anne Arundel County roads. Aris T. Allen Blvd./MD Rte 665 is a State road.