The 4.34-acre expansion would include a pool and deck as part of a family activity center, as well as an outdoor restaurant, fitness center, administrative office space, a junior fleet program and a sailing center. The club has been developing the project for about 10 months, but some residents say the expansion could cause traffic and parking issues.
City permitting offices have approved portions of Annapolis (Md.) Yacht Club’s planned $18.5 million expansion project, which some nearby residents say could cause traffic and parking issues, the Annapolis-based Capital Gazette reported.
The club has been working on the project for about ten months after members of the club voted in June to move forward with a revised version of the development. Yacht club commodore Debbie Gosselin said the project was created at the request of the club’s membership body, made up of about 1,600 people, the Gazette reported.
“We are just in waiting mode at this time,” Gosselin said.
The 4.34-acre project, located at the Eastport end of the Spa Creek Bridge, is planned to include a pool and deck as part of a family activity center. It also would include an outdoor restaurant, fitness center, more administrative office space, a junior fleet program and a sailing center, the Gazette reported.
A site design was submitted in February, and city departments returned responses on Friday. The Department of Planning and Zoning and Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs awarded various approvals for the project, though one response requested revisions to stormwater management plans. This was due to concern about the effectiveness of stormwater runoff management on the property, the Gazette reported.
Approvals to the site design come as good news to the yacht club, which has been recovering from a December fire that severely damaged the club’s main headquarters. Club officials have been leaning toward demolishing the headquarters and rebuilding anew, although a final decision hasn’t been made, the Gazette reported.
Gosselin said she didn’t anticipate work on the headquarters to delay the Eastport project, the Gazette reported.
Alderman Ross Arnett said he likes the design, but would be “abstaining in all directions.” Arnett didn’t vote on the project as a yacht club member and he doesn’t plan to submit any votes as a member of the City Council. When asked about the city’s request for stormwater management revisions, Arnett said he is all for making sure the stormwater runoff is handled, the Gazette reported.
“We need to protect it,” Arnett said. “Otherwise there will be nothing to sail on. It will just be mud.”
Not everybody is sold on the project. Residents near the project were asked to send comments, which are collected on the city’s website. The comments laid out concerns about traffic and noise, the Gazette reported.
Gregg Baldwin, who lives on Burnside Street near the property, said in an email that major events at the yacht club are going to clog up the streets and prevent residents from getting to their homes. “My issues do not lie with the renovation of the property, but with the increased traffic on my quiet dead end street,” he said.
Cindy Lewis, who co-owns a condo at Yacht Club Condominiums, called into question the size of the project in her comments. She said yacht club officials should be more focused on the building that caught fire in December, the Gazette reported.
“I think getting the burned building functioning is more important to the overall flavor of Annapolis than the new project,” Lewis said in the email. “That is an unnecessary eyesore.”