- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
We can have it all or we can lose it all in Charles County.
What we will lose are quality education with local community schools, stable taxes and high property values, a range of transportation choices, and clean rivers and streams.
A slim majority of the Charles County Planning Commission continue to pursue the failed land use policies of the 2006 comprehensive plan. Unless citizens stand up, more of the same old, same old will occur in coming years.
Charles County has the second-highest tax rate in the state, which will increase if the planning commission gets its way. Expect already-overcrowded Charles County schools, with students housed in trailers and shuffled from school to school, to get worse.
Every day, commuters face increasing traffic congestion on U.S. 301. Unless mass transit provides relief, commuters can expect to spend even more time in traffic jams. The runoff from pavement after a rain pollutes our rivers and streams severely. Residents can expect our water resources to decline even further because of the highways and sprawl development that the planning commission envisions. Recreational activities that depend on rivers and streams, including our excellent bass fishery, also will be lost.
There is a viable alternative for Charles County and its residents, an alternative that the public overwhelmingly supports. This land use alternative places development in existing urban centers, offers transportation choices, protects our farmland and our rivers and streams, limits the rise of property taxes and preserves housing values.
Nevertheless, the planning commission has rejected this land use alternative and dismissed public input. It also has rejected the completion of scientific and economic studies that would show the adverse impact the 2006 plan would have on our quality of life.
What will it be, Charles County? A sustainable future for all with good community schools, mass transit, clean rivers and streams, and an excellent bass fishery, or a plan that will ensure that a few get rich and then leave the mess they created for the rest of us to clean up?
Irene A. Larson, La Plata