We have always hoped to maintain our lands undeveloped, but will not jeopardize the choice and legacy for our descendants. As farmland owners located in the Proposed Agriculture Policy and Environmental Conservation Policy areas we have some choices to make: lose equity, retirement stability and inheritance for children, subdivide prior to the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, or sell to a developer.
After years of hard work, sacrifice and denial to purchase and maintain land, we, as most other landowners, will not select to lose equity. The proposed land restriction will reduce the value of our land. The county and state do not as indicated: "provide opportunities for individual choice and self fulfillment; allow citizens to make choices to meet their needs; and meet the needs of individual property owners for use and economic benefit with a minimum amount of conflict, compromise or expense." History repeats itself. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, there is evidence that our state and county are developing" . . .a long train of abuses and usurpations."
According to an article by Bob Maginnis in The Herald-Mail, he asked about the loss-of-equity issue, and the state's position. Our county planning director said "the state has taken the position that the interest of the overall community takes precedence over the interests of individual landowners.
With this statement, the county landowner and taxpayer understand the level of concern, violation of rights and lack of understanding toward Washington County constituents. This statement represents a socialistic attitude. We live in a country governed by democracy. The amendments to the Constitution guarantee that the people have rights with which no government may interfere. We consider land ownership and choice of use to be our right.
Speaking of taxes, have you considered the loss of tax revenue, reduced property tax assessments, loss of potential tax growth with the proposed comprehensive plan? About 87 percent of the total acreage in the county falls within the limitations of the three most restrictive zoning policy areas: Agricultural, Environmental Conservation and Preservation.
This plan will allow only the potential for 1,332 new homes ever in these three policy areas. Further restricted expansion of commercial and industrial sites to existing infrastructure facilities, and rural villages established with little allowed growth, will not provide or maintain a viable tax base that is sufficient and equitable for our county.
The need for additional funding will eventually be distributed over all taxpayers of the county to make up for growth deficit. With little county growth allowed, there will be little need for the state to provide funding for roads, education, utilities and other public requirements.
The state will be in a relative safe mode for funding. The "eighth vision" will no longer be a threat when we are unable to prove a need for infrastructure to meet growth needs because Washington County will have no growth. State funds will continue to be dispersed in populated areas such as Baltimore City, Montgomery, Baltimore, Prince George's, and Howard counties. For the past several years we have been getting nothing proportionally and it will continue to worsen.