Crystal Spring Landowner Takes Fierce Stance Against City Purchase Proposal
Pantelides said the purchase of the property wouldn't be happening anytime soon.
A developer's plan to use 190 acres of land off Forest Drive into a mixed-use retirement community became one of the most contentious issues in the 2013 mayoral race, in which Pantelides narrowly defeated incumbent mayor Josh Cohen.
Just a few weeks into office, Pantelides announced a potential plan of action on the issue.
In an article published by The Capital on Monday, Pantelides outlined the possibility of buying the site before it is developed using millions of dollars from local funding set aside to preserve open space. Such a plan would require state, city and county funds, and the cooperation of the County Executive and the House Speaker Michael Busch, Pantelides said.
During public testimony at Monday's City Council meeting, the subject was broached by Robert Eades, an outspoken commentator on city and county politics.
Eades said instead of buying the site, the city could do wonders by investing a few million dollars in public housing.
Pantelides responded that the purchase of the property, which he estimated at "a couple million dollars," wouldn't be happening anytime soon.
"That's not something that I immediately plan to do," Pantelides said.
But the landowner was firm in saying the purchase would not happen. In a written statement from property owner Janet Richardson-Pearson read aloud by a representative of the developers, she called Pantelides' proposed plan, "a recirculated pipe dream of a no-growth contingent."
"I have absolutely no interest in selling my property to the state or city. I want to see it developed as planned," Richardson-Pearson wrote.
After Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson asked, Pantelides clarified his intent, saying that it was not his plan, but merely a possibility that would first have to come from Speaker Busch.
Crystal Spring Development spokesman Andrew Bing said he hoped to meet with Pantelides and staff about the development in the future.
Learn more about Crystal Spring in previous articles on Patch: