Why might Wal-Mart be considering moving just a few miles, from their current location in Abingdon to a new one closer to Bel Air? An obscure provision tucked into the deed of a nearby land deal may hold the key.
As part of the 1988 land deal which created the nearby Constant Friendship Shopping Center, the land’s sellers agreed not to let other nearby parcels be used for a grocery store—such as those included as part of Wal-Mart’s Supercenters.
According to the May 12, 1988 deed, developer Constant Limited Partnership purchased from Emmorton Venture the land for what is now the Constant Friendship Shopping Center in Abingdon, near the intersection of MD Rt. 924 and Rt. 24. As part of the 1988 deal, landowner Emmorton Venture agreed to put a special restriction on nearby land it also owned, including land later purchased by Wal-Mart. The restriction appears to bar Wal-Mart from expanding the existing store into one of its “Supercenters,” which offer a full line of groceries.
Likely intended to limit competition for a planned grocery store in the Constant Friendship Shopping Center—the same space recently vacated by Weis Markets—the 1988 restriction prevents the land under Wal-Mart from being used for the “operation of a food store or food supermarket containing or utilizing more than 5,000 square feet…” for 30 years. In other words, groceries look like a no-go at the Abingdon Wal-Mart until 2018.
The relevant paragraph from the deed mentioning the grocery prohibition reads:
“That certain portion of Grantor’s remaining land which is presently zoned B-2 and C-1, as shown cross-hatched on Exhibit B attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference (the “Restricted Land”), shall not be sold, leased, or used for the operation of a food store or food supermarket containing or utilizing more than 5,000 square feet of floor area for the display, storage, preparation and sale of non-freshly prepared food products for off premises consumption including without limitation groceries, meats, canned goods, fish, delicatessen products, bakery products, pet foods, cereals, dry foods, snacks, fruits and vegetables. Notwithstanding the foregoing, such restriction shall not be applicable to the incidental or secondary, and not primary, operation of a gourmet food or speciality food department from a commercial building contructed on the Restricted Land if such commercial building (i) contains more than 90,000 square feet of floor area, (ii) is part of what is commonly called a “regional shopping mall” and (iii) is occupied by a major department store such as Macy’s, Hecht’s, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor or similar conventional department store chain. This convenant shall be a convenant running with the land for a term of thirty (30) years and shall inure to the benefit of Buyer, its successors and assigns.”
According to Pete Gutwald, Harford County director of planning and zoning, Wal-Mart is eyeing an undeveloped parcel at Route 924 and Plumtree Road in Bel Air, a move that has met with opposition from the nearby community.
Gutwald said that the Plumtree parcel, at about 30 acres, is more than large enough for a Supercenter and is zoned for business. But he said that he believed the company was investigating all possibilities, including expanding at the Abingdon site off of Tollgate Road near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 24.
Gutwald said that the Abingdon site is large enough to support an expansion but to his knowledge, his department had not been approached by Wal-Mart on that subject. Asked why the company might buy land and build from scratch rather than add on at its existing property, Gutwald said he didn’t have an explanation. Questions about the company’s plans posed by The Dagger to Wal-Mart’s corporate office went without response. But the answers may lie in a 23-year-old deed.
Here is the pertinent section of the 1988 deed:
Bill in Baltimore says
If only the traffic flowed better getting into the Wal-Mart store and the other businesses.
Please please please don’t bring Walmart, their junk merchandise and their sleazy customers to Bel Air.
Dave Yensan says
Congratulations DAE! You have exemplified the opinion that the rest of us have for you folks in Bel Air. Talk about a stereotype!
Bel Air Patron says
Excuse me….SLEAZY!!!!! Here is one Bel Air resident that shops at Walmart and I have 2 masters degrees and a Doctorate!!! What is your problem. You certainly do not represent the hard working people of Bel Air. I would drive almost a half hour in Bel Air traffic to go to Abingdon Walmart along with hundreds and hundreds of other Bel Air residents I know. That is extremely bold of you!
This shows how Abingdon is considered a matter of convienence for the folks of Bel Air. This attitude makes me sick!
Buck Futter says
Dae, don’t let these people beat you up too much. Everyone shops at Wal Mart, myself included. That being said, yes there is a lot of trash walking around the store. To the people who hold masters and everyone else beating you up, these are the same people who read the e-mails “Best pics of Walmart 2010” and forward them to their friends.
DAE you are classic. Trust me there is plenty of sleaze to go around in Harford. No matter what store you shop…hilarious. If you think Bel Air is somehow above the fray then you are sadly mistaken.
Junk merchandise? Sleazy customers? Wal Mart sells the same stuff other places do; it’s made in the same sweat shops and comes across the same ocean as the rest of the box stores in the nation. The customers from each Wal Mart are indicative of the surrounding demographic. Read the “made in” label on the clothes you are wearing right now, the computer equipment you are using right now, etc. I understand folk who are worried about traffic adjacent to their homes, but sleazy customers? Geez.
Harford County Surely Isn't What it Used to Be says
You are wrong. Wal Mart FORCES manufacturers to produce inferior product lines which mimic what you get in other stores. For instance, why would someone buy a piece of clothing at Wal Mart for $5 and find themselves having to replace this piece of clothing in a short period of time rather than buying a piece of clothing that will actually last through more than five washes. I will not be a part of the throw away society who then acts like they are “green” while being a contributor to what winds up in our dumps. Please do your price shopping and compare apples to apples. Check your thread counts. Wise up folks.
David A. Porter says
This is not true, lots of manufacturers provide discount lower quality products for mass retail operations – not just Walmart. You can find similar products at Target, Kmart and just about any other big box store.
Harford County Surely Isn't What it Used to Be says
Thank you for making my point. It matters not what side of town you’re from or the extent of your formal education. It plainly and simply makes no sense to believe you are getting a “discount” when you are buying lower quality items. What is the discount? You are paying dearly for an inferior product which you will have to repurchase in the near future, end of story. Why do some people believe that inflated retail prices are real and then “discounted.” Retailers know what they can absorb “discount” wise and big box stores have the funds to advertise this nonsense. Many folks eventually believe this farce. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. Think about it. In any event, shop where you like, know what you are buying and, maybe, more importantly, have eyes in the back of your head to see the sort of people you often times surround yourself with in the Wal Marts of the world. Good luck.
Always good to see people “limiting competition.” :\
Not from Here says
The Target in Constant Friendship has groceries, but not meat and produce–if my memory serves me. Don’t get out of Bel Air much. harharhar
come on Walmart – here’s one Bel Air boy pulling for you. Although my wife was verbally threatened and followed by a couple of young thugs from who knows where at the Abingdon store, primary to seeing Walmart move to me would be getting it out of that traffic mess that is constant friendship. you’ll always have idots wherever you go, I had to move out of Edgewood to Bel Air for my car to be broken in to – ha, ha. If done right, with multiple access points, a walmart in bel air could be a good move.
Enought is Enough says
With multiply access points available in Edgewood and the Route 40 corridor that area of the county would also be a good fit. Let’s reuse existing commercial property that could easily be recycled and on a major road with no disruption to traffic or the surrounding neighborhoods.
Finally – someone who says something that makes sense! We MUST start re-using areas that need to be updated and improved (i.e. old shopping centers). The Edgewood location would be perfect!
Mommie Dearest says
Something needs to be done about that horrible eyesore dump where C-Mart used to be. Guess it’s cheaper to build new than to recycle old. Sad.
CMart had plenty of offers but jacked up the rent and refused to renovate.
It took Gafigans to want the place badly enough and agree to renovate the old building to get it. I would be shocked if they lasted real long there.
The good news is that someone finally renovated the place, even if it’s for the benefit of the NEXT occupant and the stingy owner.
I for one am very excited about the possible new location! It just makes more sense for WalMart and having a walmart with grocery is very nice. The walmart in constant friendship is a dump. I think this is win-win-win for all people involved.
If Bel Air gets WM fine. But that was a fine idea about using shopping centers like the old Ames shopping center in Edgewood. Of course a WM there would put the grocery across the street out of business.
The old Ames shopping center has already been purchased and is being turned into a tech park. As much as I would like to see route 40 get cleaned up and provide better retail it just wont happen. Theres just no money there and the people of Harford Co have basically written it off. I think it if was up to them, it would just be blanked off the map. Certainly thats the way it is in their minds.
Bill in Baltimore says
I also agree it would be “nice” to put it in Edgewood. but there’s a reason all that business dried up. Wal-Mart is going to go where they can thrive, so would I.
but why do they need a super-store ? other than the idiotic traffic pattern into the place, what’s the problem where it’s at ?
Do you really think Walmart wants to move, rather than build an additional location. But this theory that it is all about a grocery store that they can add on in 7 years is a little far fetched. By the time you go through the processes that it takes to build a new building and all the zoning requirements, 3-4 years would be off the clock, and then at that point, would it make financial sense for the huge costs of a new building? Instead, isn’t it possible Walmart wants both locations just like Target has?
Jarrettsville Mom says
There is a Super Walmart in Aberden and a Super Walmart in Fallston why do we need another Super Walmart? Sad to say but in the late “80’s” we faught against the Abingdon Walmart because initially there was talk of putting a mall there with access roads off and onto I-95, the neighborhood did not want to see a mall there so look what they have instead and since then everyone has been complaining about that situation. Truly that whole commercial situation stinks back there with one way in an out but poor planning and no one willing to put any dollars in that direction is the problem.
With the new ramps being built on 24 Walmart’s current residence is not condusive to the new traffic pattern so Walmart wants to poster theirselves at 24 and Plum right below the entrance and exit to I-95 – more accessible to that traffic pattern more consumer traffic in and out of their store.
1. There’s no need for a WalMart in the area, let alone a Super one. You can get just about everything you need from a WalMart from another already existing store, if not 2 or 3 stores. I have only lived in the area about 4 years, but I have been to WalMart maybe 5 times. There’s nothing compelling about a WalMart in this area. I’m not rich, I’m not snobby, I’m not a left wing nut who hates big business. WalMart is just a frickin store, and we already have enough of those.
2. Bel Air, in particular, already has a concentration of stores that offer a myriad of ways to buy the same products.
3. The only reason a Super WalMart would get built is because of the financial power of WalMart to influence campaigns, and the County’s voracious desire for revenues at any cost– it will NOT be because most of the residents of the county want it built.
4. IF another WalMart is to be built, we should DEMAND that WalMart pay for EVERY ounce of concrete, EVERY brick, and move EVERY shovel full of dirt, and that not a single penny of tax payer money is used on any road, any utility, or any infrastructure at all. They want it, they can pay for it. And entry and exit points for the WalMart should be as follows: a) right turn only entrance from 24 North b) Right turn only exit onto 24 North c) A and B would include exit and merge-in lanes d) Walmart can build an overpass from their parking lot across 24 for entry and exit from southbound side of 24 with merge lanes e) there should be NO other entry and exit from Bel Air South, Plumtree, Tollgate or 924/Emmorton. e) WalMart should be required to build in the middle of the property only, allowing for the existing woodland as a buffer to the surrounding area, and shall not have any lighted sign identifying it’s location from the road (height restriction)
Phil Dirt says
Nice dream. However, if we require this from Walmart, the same restrictions would have to apply to every store that wishes to open in Harford County.
And remember, this is for a store on a parcel that is zoned appropriately for a business like this. If they were trying to have land rezoned, would they also have to find a cure for cancer?
Tell me, how would you like living in a county that never gets any new retail shops?
Should we have the same restrictions on other stores? YES. We should restrict signs, restrict the removal of existing land shape and woodland, we should require that all commercial centers are a certain distance from the road, we should surround all shopping centers with trees and keep the gaudy signs, ugly concrete parking lots, and general eye sore out of sight from the outside. Have you seen Hilton Head, SC and places like it? Stores and restaurants are set back from the roads, behind greenery, and the signs for them are small and low, and it makes the place much more appealing. Contrast that to something like Route 40, the prototypical concrete eyesore.
I have no problem with the zoning. I realize it’s in the development envelope. I’d have much less of a problem with most any store(s) that wanted to open in that spot (though ideally none would), especially if those stores didn’t already exist a few miles away or have product that wasn’t already easily available at a dozen other stores. You want to talk about something other than a WalMart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, etc, and I’ll listen. To allow them to build another Walmart that we don’t need, to destroy more trees, create more traffic, and utilize county funds in the process, without so much as a whimper would be pathetic.
And would I like living in Harford County if there were very few new stores opening? YOU BET I WOULD. There isn’t ANYTHING I need that I can’t already get from a store in the area.
We should restrict all development of these anti-green big box blighters. We don’t need development we should keep things as they are. Corporate behemoths like Walmart, Lowes, Wegmans, Home Depot and Sears steal from the local economy and pay workers minimum wages.
Stop Walmart, stop development and let’s pay people a living wage.
I’m all for higher wages, as far as the market forces sustain it. We can’t manufacture the perfect society because we are imperfect.
And we’re not ever going to “stop development”, and honestly, there’s not even a need to.
What we MUST do, is control it. Make it work for and with us rather than against us. Don’t let big retail and corporate interests run roughshod over our world. These things are helpful and welcome within the confines of good sense, sustainability, efficiency, and quality of life.
Nothing about that new WalMart fits that idea.
Would I like to see Norman Rockwell’s Main Street USA everywhere, sure that’d be great. Are we going to? Never.
We have enough of the corporate interests, we should shut down any new development and force companies to pay a living wage.
We cannot continue having a county with so many have nots and too many haves.
Bill in Baltimore says
with your approach (shutting down any new development), the imbalance will even out, we’ll all be have nots.
Like your brain.
We cold have cooperatives and communal sharing that would promote a simpler green society, such as farmer’s markets and common multi-family kitchens. The corporatists have destroyed our country and we must stop them or we are doomed to a dystopian existence
What is a living wage???
A living wage is a salary that is decided by a governing body of a certain jurisdiction determined on cost of living so those making that wage can live with dignity.
Phil Dirt says
Some of you anti-development people still fail to understand that this is a self-regulating system. Even without intrusive restrictions and intrusions, we will not have more stores than we need. If the area can’t support another Walmart, one will fail and it will close, If both stay open and thrive, then the new one was needed. If they sell the same crap as so many other stores, either some of the stores will close, or the need for a new one existed.
This is similar to the ridiculous arguments used to prevent new liqour stores from opening – “There are too many in the area!” If that were actually true, let them open anyway and the weakest will fail.
Well it’s misleading to say “another” WalMart, and we’re both guilty of it. If the proposed new one opens it would replace the one at Constant Friendship. So that’s not an issue.
Your comment that the market is self regulating is true, to a point. But even that truth fails to address the numerous other points made. The restrictions are not designed to hinder competition or regulate the market.
The ideas I mentioned are designed to promote common sense, efficiency, sustainability, and quality of life.
The only things the market promotes are profits and losses.
And which of those concepts should be most important to the residents of Harford County? Common sense, sustainability, efficiency, and quality of life, or the profit and loss of companies that aren’t local?
Further, let’s think on the self regulating qualities of an open market. So, as you say, if the WalMart opens and other stores that offer the same goods at comparable or higher prices (because they don’t buy in bulk like WalMart) go out of business, you are then left with WalMart as the main retail purveyor of products that you can’t find anywhere else, which naturally then decreases competition.
So again, who wins in that scenario? Is it the consumer who has a good price, but nothing to compare it to and fewer choices? Or is it the large retailer?
Still at no point have you made any real argument about why such a move would be beneficial to County residents. And if none can be made, why should we allow it?
Just because a thing is allowed does not mean it is the right thing to do.
Phil Dirt says
“Just because a thing is allowed does not mean it is the right thing to do.”
And you are the one to decide what is the ‘right thing to do’?
You are using the same misleading argument that the typical anti-Walmartiste uses. “But there will soon be no competition!”
Fact: Walmart can offer lower prices on some items due to their bulk buying power.
Fact: Walmart does not raise prices after the weaker competition withers away.
Fact: If Walmart ever became the only store left in an area and DID decide to start jacking up prices, other stores would move back to the area with better deals and lure away the shoppers.
Also, vague phrases like “Common sense, sustainability, efficiency, and quality of life” with no defined criteria do not present an compelling or arguable point in a dsiscussion such as this.
get real says
You missed your opportunity – the U.S.S.R. went out of business years ago. Then again you could move to China, North Korea or Cuba. They have great communal living arrangements there.
@Noble-I completely agree with everything you said
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA So now all you fallston and bel air yuppies that think your rich in your average houses and driving the cheapest model of bmw and mercedes. Will now have homie’s from edgewood shopping in your stores and town lol. This is truly funny!!!! hahahahahaha yeah mother f***** imma be walking through da store talking on my nextel out loud so every body hear my conversation and the chirp my phone makes while I be pulling up my pants cuz I dont wear no belt hahahaha
How’s the grass out in left field?
Phil Dirt says
And with proper spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, we could actually read and understand what this moron is trying to say.
joe dirt says
build it and we will come!!
Everyone I’ve talked to is in favor of the new walmart!! Can’t wait for it to be built.
Workers should boycott Walmart until they pay a living wage and consumers should shop elsewhere.
Phil Dirt says
Walmart should pay whatever wage that workers are willing to work for. If the pay is too low, nobody will take the jobs. If people take the jobs, the wage is not too low. Also, consumers should shop wherever they want to.
These are very easy concepts to understand, even for a superprogressive.
“And you are the one to decide what is the ‘right thing to do’?”
Where did I say that? Where did I give any indication of that? By asking leading and accusatory questions you betray any kind of real discussion.
I have offered my opinion, offered some real questions that should be asked, and suggested that there’s nothing beneficial for the residents of the County regarding this move.
I also never said anything about WalMart raising prices in the absence of other competition, yet for some reason you decided to put this argument into my mouth and refute it.
Finally, you, even when specifically called out to do so, have not suggested a single possible benefit from the move to the residents of the County.
Phil Dirt says
I’ll type slowly so you can understand. You said “Just because a thing is allowed does not mean it is the right thing to do.”
Now notice the phrase ‘the right thing to do’. Right for who? You, me, Walmart, Bel Air, Harford County, society, treehuggers, socialists, capitalists, criminals, rich people, poor people, young people, old people? You must have some intended meaning of what ‘the right thing to do’ is, unless it’s just another one of the usual undefined phrases (like quality of life) used in NIMBY or anti-development arguments.
You said, “Still at no point have you made any real argument about why such a move would be beneficial to County residents.” Why does it have to be? If they buy the land and it is zoned for that sort of business, are you to determine whether or not they should be allowed to do what is legal? If not you, then who, and using what criteria?
“And if none can be made, why should we allow it?” Because it is legal. You’re really saying that we should not allow a legal act to take place? Here we go again, with that undetermined person or group deciding what is right, what should be allowed despite the laws, what is fair…
With all of the rights we have as citizens, I would like you to explain where we are granted the right to decide which legal actions or activities should be stopped just because we don’t like them.
Perhaps “allow” was a confusing word choice for you, I apologize.
Why, in the absence of any benefit to the residents of the area, should we sit idly by, complacent, and simply throw hands up in the air and say, “Oh well”, because it’s “legal” we might as well shut up and let them do it?
That’s the kind of thinking that “allows” half of the problems we have in our communities.
People need to be involved. People should be involved in the whole process from start to finish, whether it is built or not.
Of course it’s legal. That’s not the issue. The issue is not can it be built, but rather should it be. People have a voice in that. Does WalMart care? Probably not. But we live here and we should care.
Not a DECISION, but a voice. The only way it could be stopped is with a change in zoning, which is unlikely, and probably not even preferable (because it’s in the development envelope)
If it were possible to have a referundum, a real useful vote to decide and most people decided that they wanted the WalMart there, I’m fine with that, despite all my objections.
I don’t want to stop WalMart. I want what is best for the community. It’s my belief that almost anything but a new WalMart would be better in that space.
Let’s bring something new and useful to the area instead.
Phil Dirt says
It was your word choice – I’m not confused.
Here you go again with whether we should “let them do it”. Legally, how can you stop it? Get out of theoretical, rainbows and unicorns, perfect little paradise and into the real world. If you don’t want it built, raise the money, buy the land, and do what YOU legally want to do with it.
Yep, that’s right, do what you want to deny the present owners the right to do, because it’s different when it’s you.
(And a referendum on what kind of store they can build on their land? Really? Can we vote next on what kind of car you buy with your money?)
Quote: (And a referendum on what kind of store they can build on their land? Really? Can we vote next on what kind of car you buy with your money?)
You act as if you’ve never heard of such a thing? Zoning is a law that exactly limits what types of things people can do with their land. There are ordinances that restrict people from having signs of certain heights, from being open past a certain time, and on and on. There are thousands of ways that we already tell people what they can do with their land when what they do with their land impacts everybody else. The relocation in question has a major impact on the area, and to not even ask any questions about it and let it happen is irresponsible citizenship.
And, in case you missed it, we also already have thousands of laws that tell us what kind of car we can drive. I didn’t personally decide any of those laws myself, but yet, for some strange reason I have to abide by them.
It’s no use trying to have this discussion with you because you have been unable to get away from the notion frozen in your mind that I am anti-development, anti-WalMart, and am determined to stop the relocation of the WalMart at all costs. None of that is the case. I have pointed out that there are real potential problems with it and that we have a duty and a right to have a say in the process. For some reason, you seem to think I should just shut up and let whatever happens happen.
@Noble It seems fairly clear you want government to overreach in restricting what property owners wish to do with commercially zoned property.
Bill in Baltimore says
Has anyone been to the new Wal-Mart in Fallston ? That should be relevant in light of this discussion.
A friend who was there said it was nice on the inside, and packed. I bet the car dealers like the increased traffic.
What gets me is that no one is discussing all the money that is being spent to fix the 924/24 intersection. The impetus for this is the shopping area that includes Walmart as well as the new area where Wegmans is going.
Yakety Yak says
It doesn’t seem so odd now for the tax payer money spent on “improvements” to Wheel Road and the circle at Laurel Bush. The new Wheel Road will make access to the proposed Wal-Mart much easier for 543 traffic flow. Makes you wonder how long the proposal for this new store has been in the works.
This is what is known as a restrictive covenant.
From everything I’ve read so far, I can’t find any reason that the parties to the deed can’t agree to alter or remove the covenant from the deed.
With a Wegman’s across the street and no hope of luring another grocery store, why would the owner of Constant Friendship center want to enforce it?
Hot Topic says
I live around the corner from Laurel Bush Rd and the 924 intersection. Has anyone tried to turn onto 924 anywhere from the time Patterson Mill lets out of school and 6:30pm in the evening? Traffic is always backed up down 924 from Wheel Rd and also from Bel Air South Parkway with those poor folks trying to get home via 924. What in the world will it be like if and when the Walmart Superstore moves to 924? They just built the new Superstore in Fallston, why another one so close?
I just hope that when, oops, meant “if”, Walmart moves, Harford County will straighten out the traffic mess(es) before they build it.(Yeah, like that is gonna happen.)
I am sorry, I am not against change, progress or well planned and sensible growth but I feel like I am now surrounded by Walmarts, Walgreens and Targets. Enough already.
@Porter (doesn’t let me respond directly to you)
I don’t dispute the content of your summary of my intent, except that “overreach” is a matter of opinion.
In my opinion, government for far too long hasn’t had enough to say about what happens to commercial property and we end up with the horrendous cyle of development, congestion, and decline that we see in so many places.
More importantly, rather than an “overreaching” government, what I’d really like to see, and what I really want to make happen is a citizenry that gives a damn, and acts accordingly. Without it, we are going to have the government we deserve.
No matter which side of any issue you fall, we can probably all agree on that.
@Noble I don’t think we agree on much of anything.
I think the current zoning laws are onerous and expensive for both commercial and residential development. Having bureaucrats determine development and destroying property rights by picking winners and losers is atrocious.
And the Walmart haters are the most despicable and self-serving of all.
frankly speaking says
Another WM near Bel Air would really tie traffic and add congestion to the area that is already saturated with traffic and too few exit options, with only two dedicated routes going east/west and no viable north/south exit routes. Does HC want to become Fairfax County? A glorified parking lot where you can now see trees only on billboards and no dedicated space for public parks or recreation. WM can build another store if they so wish, but the community gets to decide where, when or how it should be done by the power of planning and zoning, not the free market.
If the free market decides every planning and zoning decision with no imput regarding infrastructure, capacity, density and transportation this will reduce our ability to move free and about, increase commute time, create more gridlock, and reduce our rural/urban balance to decrease property values to name some of the disadvantages. While quality of life can’t be measured in $$$, it sure can be seen in the problems this proposed WM would create.
Phil Dirt says
OK. If it is built, the free market will decide if the store succeeds or fails, and according to the Harford County Dept. of Planning and Zoning, the site is zoned appropriately for a Walmart. Glad to see we’re on the same side.
And concerning your apocalyptic rant about Harford County becoming Parking Lot City, with “no dedicated space for public parks or recreation”, did you ever hear of something called the ‘development envelope’? Or, that this lot is less than a mile and a half from Harford Glen? Or is gross exaggeration simply part of your argument? (Of course, we have all see that it is)
frankly speaking says
there are only a couple of prime lots left within the development envelope between Abingdon and Bel Air. The zoning does allow a WM there, my argument is that it is not needed as there are plenty of box stores, shopping centers and parking to support those communities, but more of the same does not/will not add any public benefit to it being located there for the community. WM surely thinks otherwise as a store there would place them in competition with the Target in Bel Air. If that’s their intent, they had the opportunity to go where SuperFresh or Giant locations.
Urban history shows as new development arises in in-fill areas, the stores around them suffer and become empty blight such as Giant lot and SuperFresh lots are becoming or the Abingdon Weis as it also sits empty. These in-fill lots should be dedicated to businesses that don’t duplicate what we already have. Isn’t that the point of “planning and zoning”?
@Porter-I may look like a tool, but you sure act like a tool and an incoherent mumbling fool at that. Make your point and grow up.
@FRANKLY SPEAKING – What you don’t like is capitalism.
Walmart has a right to compete with as many stores it wishes to build. Everywhere Walmart goes it pushes prices down for the entire market which increases the public’s buying power.
@ FRANKLY SPEAKING – No wisdom whatsoever.
frankly speaking says
Porter-you can make your argument, but blanket statements with no thought or process/logic make you sound like a complete tool.
@FRANKLY SPEAKING I looked up the word “tool” in the urban dictionary and found your picture.
And once you start making cogent posts that require me to articulate an answer with more words I will. Though I don’t expect to have to do it any time soon.
You gotta be kidding. Why would anyone think you could restrict a food store yet allow a department store? Reminds me of those arrogant racists who used to put restrictions about what types of races/religions could not purchase their house.
Let’s keep building more Walmarts everywhere. That way our pathetic County Council will rave about the new businesses they attracted and how many jobs they created for residents. Just ignore the empty big box store that sits vacant. It can’t hurt you.
Please tell me this article was written to F%^! with everyone’s mind.
frankly speaking says
Since I own a business myself, i don’t see how I don’t like capitalism. There is a purpose and place for proper planning and zonzing. The area can be zoned commercial, but it doesn’t mean that any business can just set up shop there. Would you object to there being a gentleman’s club or adult entertainment instead? By your idea, any business that wants to set up shop in a shopping district should be allowed to do so?
I don’t object to WM building yet another store withing 3 miles of the old one, just don’t think it is a wise use of yet another store amongst with all the traffic it would generate with other stores in the area. It could be used as mixed use with offices, medical or educational business, to name a few…
@ Frankly Speaking,
I do not believe your example fits the situation. We are dealing with two rather innocuous types of stores: a department store and a food store. Not too much of a difference. Nothing is offensive.
Capitalism is great. I really respect those businessmen who trade other people’s money, reward themselves for failure even when they lose client’s $, boast about how only the strong businesses survive and then beg for gov’t handouts when they screw up in order to prevent bankruptcy.
Thanks for setting all of us straight.
frankly speaking says
going around in circles…planning and zoning decisons are made by local govts through a process is which the needs of business and those of the community are taken into account. My response was to those that think just because its zoned appropriately, then any business has the right to develop that parcel without regards to traffic, congestion, infrastructure, community needs, blight, and the such.
Another store that has pretty much what everyother store has within a 5 mile radius us just a waste of space and does not benefit the community, but in fact canivalizes the other stablishments around them and creates boarded up parcels as others close due to diminishing returns on their investment. It hasn’t been proven that adding another entity providing the same service in the same area will in fact reduce prices further as the market is limited to its customer base and return on investment is further devalued as fixed costs can’t be reduced further. Kind of wordy, I guess, we economists can’t just explain with words and need mathematical formulas…
Businesses come and they go. Creative destruction is the way of the world businesses are owed no protection. Kmart and Sears are deadwood and Walmart is the Sword of Gideon. Poorly run businesses deserve to wither away. Government has no right to decide which businesses should stay or go aside from normal zoning concerns.
frankly speaking says
Some areas seem to be able to manage to define the type of developments that come to their areas! Some places are really nice to live. Bel Air has been so nice for us, but I fear that there is no planning other than zoning going on. If you want certain type of development in an area, then you have to do more than zone. You must plan for it and try to lure developers to “do it right.” I agree that we do not need another “big box” type store to add to traffic and crime.
We formerly lived in an area that built a new walking mall type development with a Safeway, and soon afterwards were followed home from there and carjacked. Crime will creep in if we allow this type of continued development in residential areas. You reap what you sow.
I AM a NIMBY and proud of it. I am not against Walmart per say, but NOT in my backyard!
MICHAEL TAYLOR says
Why are Target and BJ’s, both located in the same shopping center as Wal-Mart, allowed to sell groceries????
@MICHAEL TAYLOR – A seller or lessor of commercial real property can negotiate provisions/restrictions in the contract/lease governing the use of the property. The buyer/lessee knows in advance what they can and cannot do.
Mike Taylor says
I live behind the Festival at Bel Air and I know how bad traffic is in this area. The County Planners know how bad the problem is presently, without a Wal-Mart, which is why they have funded $750,000 in the budget to install a roundabout at Bel Air South Parkway in front of the Arby’s and High’s Stores. I don’t see how a roundabout will help the problems especially at the intersection of Bel Air South Parkway and 924 and adding a Wal-Mart will only make the problem worse. A traffic study is being funded by Wal-Mart for Wal-Mart and they will do all they can to fudge the numbers in their favor. I understand that Wal-Mart would like to stay at their present location but their deed prohibits them from selling groceries until 2018. Why are Target and BJ’s allowed to sell groceries in that same complex? I believe that they want to move because that location has many traffic problems due to a one road in and out. The County should fund an additional ingress and egress road at Wal-Mart’s present location. I have heard stories where shoppers have been trapped the holidays or during an emergency in that location. This only shows how the County Planners and Engineers cannot be trusted with their planning and studies and we must band together and do all we can to stop this frivolous move of Wal-Mart from their present location to a location 3 miles away and all future development frivolities. The State of Maryland has a Smart Growth Development Policy not a Stupid Growth Policy.
My understanding is that the County has pulled the plug on the roundabout at the Festival. My guess is because they already know a roundabout will not suffice with the amount of retail being proposed in this location. I apologize if I’m mistaken.
Incidentally, also in the theme of unwanted business, looks like Panera is confirmed in the Boxhill Blvd development. Why don’t we have another Walgreens too, right?
So Deeds can’t be changed?
Why can’t P&Z or the county, suggest that Walmart go through the proper chanels to change a deed, and simply give Walmart permission to build where they are?
This has been one of my main questions from the beginning, and there has been no answer.
The longer I hear no reason given, the more sure I am it is just because WalMart doesn’t really want to.
Which is their right, they can choose how they do business.
I just don’t like the idea that we’re not getting the whole truth. If the deed restriction has nothing to do with their plans, let’s not give it a reason for them.
@WellThereYouGo – The deed restriction could be removed by the parties to that agreement, however if the original seller of the land sold other land to another party based on the Walmart parcel having a deed restriction then you may have a problem.
Right. Then the trail leads to Target and/or BJ’s, who clearly have an interest in either preventing WalMart from having groceries at the current location, or getting them to move away, or both.
Again, not real concerned about who, as what, because if we don’t know what’s going on there’s little chance we can have any influence on the outcomes.
If WalMart would truly like to stay, but it being prevented from it by their competitors (via the restriction), that’s important to know about.
Agreed that Walmart can do business when and where they deem fit.
But at this time, the public isn’t supporting their move, it appears. So their options are shoehorn in despite public outcry; try and work something out where they are;
Or just go away.
Fallston Walmart is probably doing fine, and there are 3 Targets in the 5 mile radius…and a Wegmans…and a…