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I find it an outrage that the BGI tier map was even offered up for consideration by the Charles County Planning Commission.

This followed a superb effort on the part of the Charles County Commissioners to solicit and assemble input from throughout the county on what our county should become.

The BGI tier map is the antithesis of those findings and of smart growth. What drives the BGI development rush takes little imagination.

It includes what the business world calls externalization — that being to divert the costs of business elsewhere to the greatest extent possible.

In this case, that would include the additional costs to the county taxpayers of creating new infrastructure to serve the widespread sprawl development, both in its initial establishment and for its support and maintenance thereafter.

This differs from the consensus view that it is smarter to concentrate development in areas already served by public water, sewer, emergency services, public transportation and public amenities such as library and park services.

The BGI approach would have additional negative consequences, as well. Forests cleanse our water and air — the loss of large amounts of forest land would thus harm our air and water quality throughout the county.

Creeks and streams, including Mattawoman Creek, would suffer serious degradation. The Mattawoman would almost certainly die, being already stressed by increases in impervious surface.

The addition of yet more connecting roads would mean additional miles traveled, more traffic congestion, slower commutes and worsening air pollution.

Health would suffer, especially among youngsters, the elderly and those with existing health problems.

The BGI tier map, if implemented, would sabotage plans for smart growth with a walkable urban core in Waldorf, served by rail transit.

And it would sabotage market incentives to compensate landowners through transfers of development rights and purchases of development rights. I urge the county commissioners to do what is clearly both the right and wise thing to do, and reject the BGI tier map. Our fiscal future and the quality of life in our county depend on it.



Ronald Lockwood, White Plains