Ted & Jan Schiltz
The Jefferson County Planning Commission meeting will be held at 7 p.m., March 13 in the Betty J. Roper Auditorium at Wright Denny Intermediate School located at 209 West Congress Street, Charles Town. One of the agenda items is a Public Workshop Regarding Recreational Uses/Potential Zoning Amendments. The river outfitters have been sending letters to their supporters to attend this meeting to support their requests to have access to the Potomac, have food trucks, campgrounds, etc.
We don't need more commercial activities on the Potomac River. What we need is more public access. If we have all the available access to the river commercialized anyone who wishes to utilize the river for canoeing, tubing or other water activities will have to go through one of the commercial river outfitters. If you have ever tried to tube, canoe or kayak into the Shenandoah River you know that access off of Millwood Road is mostly controlled by the river outfitters. Any one of them would be happy to rent you tubes, canoes or kayaks and only then let you go across their property to enter the public river.
To keep this from happening on the Potomac River we need to attend the Public Workshop Regarding Recreational Uses/Potential Zoning Amendments and voice our concerns about the commercialization of the rivers. We need to let the Planning Commission know that we want more public access to the rivers so that the residents/tourists can enjoy the natural beauty that Jefferson County has to offer without having to pay one of the local river outfitters for the privilege.