- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
I had the opportunity to attend the open public meeting Dec. 15 for the proposed new comprehensive plan.
There was an excellent presentation and turnout of interested citizens with many interesting comments from all parties. Obviously, there is much more work that needs to be done by the county staff and their consultants.
However, I did notice omissions in the proposed plan.
The first gross omission is that there is no plan to address the enormous economic opportunity and civic responsibility to provide senior housing for the retiring baby boomers who number more than 70 million in the United States.
Charles County, Southern Maryland and the entire Washington, D.C., metropolitan area are projected to experience a dramatic explosion of retiring senior citizens over the next 30 years that was not even mentioned in the proposed new comprehensive plan.
The second gross omission was the complete absence of any provision for additional resort development in southern Charles County that has some of the most beautiful landscape in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region.
Resort development is a dynamic economic strategy that generates jobs, additional tax revenue and additional real estate value for property owners while not negatively impacting the schools, highways or the environment or any other public services.
The third gross omission was the absence of the Maryland Department of the Environment nutrient trading program. This program is a sister program of the Maryland TDR program. The nutrient trading program is a public-private partnership designed by MDE to improve water quality by removing failed septic systems from Maryland waters with no cost to state or county taxpayers. The omission of this important program is to condemn the impacted waters in Charles County to further degradation.
The omissions of these critical planning elements highlight the extensive amount of work and creativity that the county staff and their consultants have remaining to complete this proposed comprehensive plan to lead Charles County into a better future.
A lack of vision, imagination and dedication today lead to a disaster in the future for the citizens and families of Charles County.
Michael Wiles, La Quinta, Calif.
The writer is the president of The Wiles Group, a national and international consulting and development company.