Proposed downzoning harmful to investment, property rights of thousands
This letter is to the citizens of Charles County to inform them all of the impending change to the zoning map of Charles County that will affect more than 36,000 acres of land west of U.S. 301. Our elected county commissioners are going to downzone this acreage to the Watershed Conservation District Zone. This proposed downzoning by the commissioners will devalue approximately 9,500 properties and disenfranchise approximately 7,500 property owners of their property rights. Many of these disenfranchised property owners are of lower income and many are minorities. Their land, their investment, their retirement, their family’s inheritance is being devalued at the whim of our elected leaders. This proposed change goes 180 degrees against the Comprehensive Plan. It was not recommended by the planning commission, or requested by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
As a conservative I want clean air, clean water and clean land. I do not want to see any more cars on the highways either. However I do not want this through legislative action, at the whim of our elected officials, and through outsider influence, that will devalue the property and destroy the property rights of my fellow Charles County citizens. The commissioners have made a poor attempt to inform those affected property owners of their impending actions. The property owners have a vested interest in this proposed change. Where is the transparency, account- ability or due process in our commissioners actions?
All of the affected properties have the potential for expanding the tax base in our county. However, with the proposed downzoning, the tax base will continue to be the current home and property owners. This attack on 7,500 property owner’s rights will also affect the property rights of every property owner in Charles County. The commissioners have no plans to stop the growth of the county government. They, the commissioners, will continue to increase the budget and henceforth increase the property tax rate on all property owners of Charles County.
As a long term citizen of the county, I am appalled by the actions of our elected officials who would choose to deny some citizens of their property rights, while they allow Docket 90 to run amuck. Who are our elected officials to decide who has property rights, and who does not? If you are concerned you can join with me and meet on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Remax Building in White Plains to hear more of the facts from experts concerning this downzoning, and you can again join me on Jan. 9 at the commissioners meeting at 5:30 at the county building in La Plata.
There is strength in numbers. Let’s remind our elected officials they work for all the people who elected them, not just for their special interest. Stephen Mattingly, Hughesville