It is time for our governor and legislature to understand that the needs and vision of Baltimore and Montgomery Counties are very different from Washington County. According to the Planning Act of 1992, all counties are required to incorporate the state's "eight visions" of land-use planning into their comprehensive plans with little regard to unique economic, sociological, or geographic consideration.
The "eight vision" is a consequence, which says that "funding mechanisms are designed or revised to achieve the visions." Sounds like a threat, like "my way or the highway."
As a community, we have already experienced the state's threats and consequences with the location of the University of Maryland branch in downtown Hagerstown. What is most rational or best for our county and residents is not a consideration of the state. It is now time for Washington County to consider "home rule" legislation.
Agriculture production was an economic force of Washington County, but represents 1.4 percent of the labor force today. If you want to preserve the dwindling farming and rural lands, make it equitable for farmers to continue their operations, assure them of land equity and make it possible for heirs to receive and maintain continuation.