Charles County's draft Comprehensive Plan holds fate of Mattawoman Creek on the drawing board
State law requires revisions to the plan--and a chance to reverse Mattawoman's decline
But the draft plan still paves the land feeding Mattawoman with the same fraction of roofs, roads, and parking lots as the Anacostia River! In fact, it's the 2006 plan all over again!
To learn more about the costs of sprawl, and about a smarter way to grow, download this presentation (pdf).
The draft Comp Plan must be revised to agree with a recently adopted septic/sewer plan called the Tier Map. This provides an opportunity to fix the problems that are killing Mattawoman's living resources. Many fixes were detailed in a major report by an interagency Task Force crammed with recommendations for fixing the comp plan to help Mattawoman. So far, this report has been ignored.
The public is hungry to stem reckless growth. At a hearing on the Comp Plan in October of 2013, written comments opposed to sprawl-development policies outnumbered those in favor by 2000 to 30. Even so, Commissioners Rucci, Davis, and Collins refused to reject the draft plan when given the opportunity. And they continue to advocate for projects damaging to the creek. Examples include resurrecting the defeated Cross County Connector even though permits were denied because the highway proposal was "contrary to the public interest," and reviving a failed public-private industrial park in Bryans Road that taxpayers must now pay millions to buy back from developers.
Unfortunately, the draft plan newly revised for nominal consistency with the Tier Map still looks just like past plans--dating to 1990!--that are destroying Mattawoman Creek and that keep Charles County on the bottom rungs for perserved land, high property taxes, suppressed home values, crowded schools, and more.
What you can do:
-Sign the petition at the website of the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County.
-Like the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County Facebook page for frequent updates.
-Like the Facebook for the Mattawoman Watershed Society to receive updates.
-Check out the presentation (pdf) explaining how present and past comp plans have put Charles County on the bottom rungs in Maryland for many issues, even as they are destroying our great outdoors. In a nutshell, the public has a right to be upset because sprawl development costs more to service than it generates in tax revenue, one reason why Charles County has the highest real-estate tax-rate of any county in the state. Sprawl development also explains the longest commute times in the state, and the constant redistricting of students who must then study in trailers--the greatest number of portable classrooms per student in the state. Curtailing sprawl would help fix these problems, and better protect our waterways. What is good for a watershed is good for everyone!
-See land-use issues under "Our Issues."
See Video of informed testimony on the comp plan by the Conservation Director of Maryland Bass Nation who knows 1st hand what's at stake.
Click each title for more information
Monday, July 21 6 PM
Charles County Planning Commission
La Plata, MD
Presented by the head of Chespaeake Bay Program, the intergovernmental agency overseeing the Bay cleanup.
Sunday, July 27 10 AM
About 3 hours
Mattingly Park, Indian Head, MD
Sponsored by the Maryland Sierra Club
RSVP required. Kayak rental through RSVP. Click here, or call: 301-277-7111
Experience the splendor of the lotus blossom in beautiful Mattawoman Creek Wildands. Learn about the recent expansion of the Wildlands and their diverse ecosystem in your backyard. Find out what you can do to protect Mattawoman from development threats.
Port Tobacco Conservancy's "A Night on the River"
Thursday, August 7 7 - 10 PM
Port Tobacco Restaurant
7536 Shirley Blvd, Port Tobacco, MD
Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryMartha, the last passenger pigeon on the planet, succumbed on Sept. 1, 2014. This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of this stunning extinction, when a part of the sky did, in fact, fall.
Martha is displayed for the 1st time in 15 years, along with displays examining the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen.