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A similar situation exists in Charles County where a developer created Tier Map has been approved by the Planning Commission. This map replaces the map recommended by the Planning and Growth Management Staff. The developer created map has replaced most of Tier 4 with Tier 3, thereby enabling developers more opportunities to do what they do best - clear cut forests and loading up the current AC zoned areas with more cookie cutter subdivisions, each house on small 3 acre plots, which in most instances are too large to properly maintain (unless densely forested) and too small to "farm". More development in these areas will require road improvements and stormwater management practices, some of which will require taxpayer funding. IF the Charles County Commissioners approve this developer created Tier Map, it is likely that the Maryland Department of Planning will reject it and return it for revision.

It's sad. Money rules the world.

Great article. It pretty much why my family and I fled Frederick in 1998

Thanks for that information about Charles County, Cheryl. I did not know that.

You're right, Doug....Money is the fuel behind all of this poorly planned development. What's good for the developer and his or her allies financially may be terrible for all the rest of us, who must suffer from a diminished quality of life.

The developer created Tier Map was submitted by the Balanced Growth Initiative (BGI) in LaPlata. The lobbyist for the organization is former Maryland State Delegate and former Charles County Commissioner President Murray Levy. The BGI argues that the farmers in the county would suffer the loss of their "property rights" although the current rural/agricultural zoning remains at one house per 3 acres. In addition,the County Commissioners recently increased the number of dwelling units for a "minor" subdivision from five to seven. The BGI Tier Map approved by the Planning Commission and currently awaiting a vote by the County Commissioners DECREASES the Tier 4 areas, eliminates the AC zone, and INCREASES the Tier 3 areas. It is a Tier Map favorable to developers and with more houses, more roads, more traffic and thousands of gallons of additional groundwater withdrawals, the county will continue to lose its rural character, its forests and open spaces, and its groundwater supply will continue to decline. The MGS has warned that by 2030 Charles County could experience sporadic water supply shortages - yet the buildout continues unabated and thousands of more houses are in the queue. If the BGI created Tier Map is approved by the County Commissioners the county will resemble Prince George's and Montgomery counties in the future.

That's sad. We shouldn't stand for that.

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