Volume 14, Issue 9 ~ March 2 - March 8, 2006

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

The View of the Waterfront Landowner

Dear Bay Weekly:

I am writing to finally voice an opinion that is never spoken about, the view of the waterfront landowner. Your interview with Sen. Roy Dyson [Vol. xiv, No. 8: Feb. 22] was very one-sided.

Researching on the Internet, I’ve learned that Sen. Dyson does have many acres in St. Mary’s and not far from the water. His home is listed in the tax assessment public record at 11,570 square feet. I would classify that as a McMansion. I bet if I decided to take the very long ride from my home to his, I would find a beautiful home with a gorgeous water view. His home is not listed as waterfront, so he is very lucky not to have to pay the higher rated property tax that comes with owning on the water.

I am tired of the constant criticism of the waterfront homeowners. All folks who purchase a waterfront home want one thing, a water view. Hey, even the folks living across the street from the water want the water view. That is the dream of living on the water, to have a beautiful view of the gorgeous waterways that the great state of Maryland provides. There should be nothing wrong with that dream. However, politicians and environmentalists consistently state negative things about wanting that dream.

There should be a compromise between the landowner and the government/environmentalists to make the Bay healthier. Allow the homeowners to get their water views, but require that the land be planted with grasses that produce more oxygen for the Bay and have a very high absorption.

Second, have landowners within, say, 1,000 feet, use a specific environmental safe fertilizer. For that matter, since many of the storm drains feed into the Chesapeake Bay, you could ask/restrict all homeowners in Maryland to use these Bay-safe fertilizers.

Third, at the time of the grading permit to remove the trees from a water view, have grading done so the water is graded away from the waterways. If need be, have septic-like systems engineered to filter the water.

There are many options that waterfront owners — for that matter all land owners — could do to help with the water runoff and pollutants entering our Bay. But I have yet to see any options given to the landowner but punishment. Our lawmakers have been giving high fives on raising penalties; as indicated by Sen. Dyson, this has not been a deterrent. Our representatives, who are paid by our hard-earned tax dollars, should be helping us, not trying to punish us.

By the way, not all waterfront owners are the millionaires this interview with Sen. Dyson would lead you to believe. Many are very hard-working folks just trying to keep their beautiful views and pay their outrageously high property taxes.

—Jami Young, Crownsville

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