We are celebrating the 4th of July by protecting your First Amendment right to freedom of speech regarding the Crystal Spring Development proposed for Forest Drive. When others were intimidated by the threat of a SLAPP lawsuit, Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, we stepped forward and agreed to house the Crystal Spring Legal Defense Fund.
New York Supreme Court Judge J. Nicholas Colabella stated that in reference to SLAPP Lawsuits: “Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined!”
We did this to protect your right to express your opinion on this matter and our concern that the development was not being required to comply with the Forest Conservation Act. We believe that property owners have the right to develop their property, if done so in compliance with the law.
The developer’s attorney had sent a threatening letter to a number of citizens who had expressed their concerns in writing to Mayor Cohen about this development. One of the major concerns is that the development will unnecessarily remove “priority forest” in direct violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
Failure of the City to enforce the Forest Conservation Act would endanger Back Creek, Spa Creek, College Creek, and Weems Creek, all tributaries of the Severn.
It would also set an unfortunate precedent for Anne Arundel County and the remainder of the Severn River.
Happy 4th of July!