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Last Friday’s front-page article in the Maryland Independent concerning the tier maps was upsetting [“Tier map fight hits hearing”]. Fundamentally, the tier maps and the septic bill have spawned a “fairness issue” between the landowners and the nonlandowners.

The landowners are honest, hardworking and taxpaying Charles County citizens, farmers, forestland owners and rural landowners, who have joined forces with other Charles County residents, developers, real estate professionals and businessmen and women to fight the tier map battle and the comprehensive plan battle.

The nonlandowners include many outsiders like the Sierra Club state spokesman and others who do not have anything to lose in the issue. These outsiders are well-organized, well-connected and well-financed. Some of these folks are well meaning, but they don’t care who they hurt in order to reach their goals. They include people who fervently believe that animals are more important than humans.

Of course, they want land values to fall so they can more cheaply preserve it.

But it’s not their land. It is our land. We have worked for it and struggled to buy it and keep it, often for generations. We have some fundamental rights as landowners. We can plant and harvest crops, maintain and harvest timber, buy and sell land, build houses on it for our kids. We don’t want to see our land devalued.

And at the tier map hearing, the opponents did not outnumber the supporters of the tier maps more than 2-to-1. A show of hands during the testimony clearly showed that more than half of the audience was supporters. And why was it necessary to include a photo of the “vote no” sign? What about a photo of the 30 tractors in the parking lot? Fairness in reporting? Hardly.

Remember, it is fundamentally a fairness issue. It is our land, and we own it. It is not public land. It belongs to us. Stop telling us what we can and can’t do with it. And report the facts.



David Lines, La Plata