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The Port Tobacco River Conservancy strongly urges all of our members and friends to attend a critical public meeting of the Charles County commissioners Jan. 8.

The commissioners will be considering the tier map that was written by a pro-development group and approved by the four-person majority of the Charles County Planning Commission. The tier map would drive land-use planning in the county for the forseeable future. If approved by the commissioners, it would open to development virtually every acre of Charles County that is not already preserved and most of that development would be on large lots with septic systems, which we know are major polluters.

If approved, this tier map would result in schools that are even more overcrowded than they are today; worse traffic congestion; more pollution in the Port Tobacco River, the Mattawoman Creek and all other waterways in the county; destruction of our county’s rural character; and increased tax burden on all our citizens.

The public meeting will be held in the commissioners’ meeting room at the county government building at 200 Baltimore St. in La Plata. The meeting begins at 6 p.m., and signing up to speak starts at 5 p.m. Speakers have three minutes to share their viewpoints, but there is no obligation to speak that long. All that is necessary is to state your name and address, and say that you urge the commissioners to vote against the proposed tier map.

For more information, go to www.noplan2006.com.

Dave Gardiner and Jerry Forbes, Port Tobacco

The writers, respectively, are the conservancy’s executive director and president of the board of directors.