As most of you know, Hillsmere Shores is not part of the City of Annapolis. For a long time, Forest Drive has been one of the major dividing lines between the City and non-City. The City of Annapolis has, usually in response to developer’s requests, annexed properties into the City. Often, property owners/developers request annexation to get water and sewage and increased density permission (more houses and smaller lots). The City has annexed 18 communities as of February 2005 (492 acres), 262 of those acres since 1991. There are four current proposals (as of April 11, 2005), if approved would annex an additional 271 acres. Additionally, annexation proposals may be filed for four more communities (28 acres). These cases all impact the Annapolis Neck. The peninsula has only one main traffic artery, Forest Drive. The Capital published a map of Annapolis annexations April 10, 2005.
Current proposals include a request for 66 acres slated for single-family homes off Neck Road near Quiet Waters Park. Another is for a 180 acre equestrian property at Forest Drive and Spa Road.
Annexation opponents say Forest Drive traffic flow already is too constricted, especially for emergency vehicles. Others feel landowners should be free to develop their land unencumbered.
Newspapers have reported competing visions for the City of Annapolis: Should the city be an urban pedestrian-friendly city or a suburban, SUV-friendly place? Some think the city should not expand at all. The current major, Ellen O. Moyer believes that annexations should conform to the urban “mixed-use” character of the city, a contrast to general development patterns in years. “We are an urban city, an urban community, not a suburban complex,” she said. “Those are two different paradigms.” (Baltimore Sun published April 3, 2005.)
The Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation has opposed much of the development including the past annexation that went from the Safeway and the new CVS complex on Forest Drive all the way to the South River. The ANPF has 34 member communities including Hillsmere Shores. The ANPF was founded “to educate and fight for responsible development, enhance the general quality of life, and the aesthetic nature of the area, but especially to protect the fragile environment of the area and the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries, and the ground water supply.” The ANPF points out the following points: