Charles County Draft Comprehensive Plan

Public Comment Period
Closes November 4

Thank you to the many supporters of Mattawoman Creek who came out to the Public Hearing on Oct 5th!

If you couldn't make, and even if you did, please consider submitting written comments on the plan.
Detailed information here
Suggested issues to write about are here (pdf).

Email comments to Theresa Pickeral, clerk for the Planning Commission:

Degradation of Mattawoman to continue if plan is not improved!

Experts say this comp plan is the “last opportunity” to assure

Mattawoman’s health, but the present plan “will not” do it.

Despite some positive steps, the current draft plan is essentially the failed 2006 plan. It falls far short of smarter growth scenarios previously considered, including a compromise called the Merged Scenario that was rejected under the influence of a developers' lobby. The next step is a  public hearing before the Planning Commission on Oct. 5th. It's time to restore the smarter-growth components of the Merged Scenario and improve it further. Details here.
Can you tell which map is the 2006 plan, and which is the 2015 plan?
Hint: the 2015 plan has even more forest land opened to development.

ANSWERS to Sept. 4, 2015 Facebook quiz (rows top to bottom):
Row 1: Bald Eagle, Great Egret, Hooded Warbler
Row 2: Green Frog, Gray Fox, Racoon
Row 3: Northern Water Snake, Spotted Salamander, Eastern Box Turtle
Row 4: Yellow Perch, Hickory Shad, White Perch

How to protect our wildlife?
Speak out at the Comprehensive Plan hearing.


Click each title for more information

  • MWS winning photo MWS won a photo contest taken during a trash clean-up on the shores of the Mattawoman Creek tidal estuary. The effort was part of the April 11, 2015 Potomac ...
    Posted Sep 27, 2015, 2:16 PM by
  • Globally Rare Bog Threatened The large Guilford subdivision proposed for Bryans Road may spell the beginning of the end for Charles County's last unspoiled Magnolia Bog. This plant community merits  the rarest designation ...
    Posted Jun 25, 2015, 4:38 AM by
  • MWS assists Anacostia Watershed Society MWS hosted members of the Anacostia Watershed Society, who were collecting submerged plants to transplant to the Anacostia River. In a regional irony, Mattawoman is slated to have the same ...
    Posted Jun 24, 2015, 6:54 PM by
  • MWS awarded water quality meter Out of 350 applicants, the Mattawoman Watershed Society has been awarded a meter that measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. The instrument, which uses a state-of-the ...
    Posted May 30, 2015, 10:02 AM by
  • MWS cleans up fishing hole MWS participated in the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on April 11th. A morning's camaraderie overlooking the estuary left a popular fishing spot spotless.
    Posted Apr 25, 2015, 12:06 PM by
  • MWS in Stream Waders Video MWS volunteers are featured in a video highlighting Maryland's Stream Waders program. The monthly video newsletter is produced by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The video explains the ...
    Posted Apr 3, 2015, 6:31 PM by
  • MWS in the news A feature article on the front page of the March 11th Maryland Independent discusses rare and endangered plants and animals in southern Maryland, and efforts by a number of groups ...
    Posted Mar 14, 2015, 1:58 PM by
  • MWS president wins prestigous award Mattawoman Watershed Society president Dr. Jim Long received the prestigious Carl S. Weber award at the 20th annual conference of the Maryland Water Monitoring Council. The award honors an individual ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2014, 6:35 PM by
  • Chesapeake Bay Agreement signed In a historic first, land use and climate change were recognized as threats to the Chesapeake Bay when the governors of six states and the mayor of the District of ...
    Posted Jun 28, 2014, 11:22 AM by
  • MWS wins Most Beautiful Tent award at ArtsFest 2014 Volunteers for the Mattawoman Watershed Society were surprised when a committee with the Charles County Arts Alliance arrived at their tent on June 7 to deliver the 1st Place award ...
    Posted Jun 8, 2014, 2:44 PM by
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 32. View more »



Draft Comprehensive Plan
Charles County

Submit written comments by close of business Nov 4

Email comments to Theresa Pickeral, clerk for the Planning Commission:

and/or Steve Ball, Director of Planning:

This is the "big one." The Comprehensive Plan is the blueprint for how and where we grow. Three fourths of the Mattawoman watershed is in Charles County, whose past land-use practices have brought Mattawoman to the "breaking point" for irreversible deterioration. One example is the declining fish community. The state commented on the draft Comp Plan saying it "will not" protect the fish.

It's not just the fish, wildlife, and forest.  Sprawl development raises taxes, crowds schools, and congests roads. Loss of forest harms health. Stand for a smarter growth plan.

Hearing: Challenge to Guilford preliminary plan

Tuesday October 8, 7 PM
Charles County Government Building,
La Plata

Individuals and groups, including MWS, are challenging approval of a preliminary plan for a huge subdivision project on several grounds. Charles County has often claimed Billingsley Road safety as an excuse for the failed Cross County Connector. Now the county has approved a huge project that would increase traffic on Billingsley Road by 60%.

Hearing: Big-box Special Exception
Tuesday October 13, 7 PM (no public role yet)
Charles County Government Building,
La Plata

Developers of Waldorf Station want Charles County to welcome visitors with a giant big-box store in an area zoned for Transit Oriented Development. The big-box--a Walmart Supercenter--is too big to fit current zoning, so the Board of Appeals must grant a special exception for it go forward. The special exception would be another step toward locking in a project design that has morphed over time to be unnacceptably damaging to Mattawoman Creek.

This quasi-judiciary hearing will last several evenings as lawyers and expert witnesses present testimony (the 1st meeting was April 14). Then the public will be invited to speak at a date to be determined. More information on Waldorf Station here.

Energy, Health, and Climate Expo
Saturday, October 17  1 to 4 PM

College of Southern Maryland
Building and Industry Bldg, Rm 113
8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata
Join us for this family-friendly event sponsored by the Maryland Climate Coalition. It brings area groups—including MWS—and YOU together for a discussion about energy, climate change, and what it means for Marylanders.

We will also hear from local legislators and energy leaders on the importance of acting on climate in Maryland. You’ll find out what the state is doing to help address climate change, grow Maryland’s clean energy economy, and what you can do.

Climate Change Maryland’s fun and educational Energy Arcades will appeal to children, while also giving parents an idea of the ways that they can save energy and money in their own homes.

Refreshments will be provided.