“Traffic Safety Before Wal-Mart Profits” – Protests of Proposed Bel Air Supercenter Resume

Waving the now familiar “NO BEL AIR WALMART” signs, scores of protesters lined the roadway near the site of a proposed Bel Air Supercenter on Saturday, as organizers gathered signatures opposing the store. Protesters said that the Supercenter would increase traffic congestion and crime in the area, and hurt local businesses.

Wal-Mart announced in July plans to close its Abindgon store and open a new Supercenter on an undeveloped parcel near the intersection of Plumtree Road and MD 924 in Bel Air. The Supercenter is proposed to include an automotive center, pharmacy with drive-thru, groceries (with a separate market entrance) and garden center.

The Saturday protest along MD 924 was the latest in a series of demonstrations organized by the Bel Air South Community Foundation, a group formed by area residents against the store. As he handed out yard signs and bumper stickers, Steve Tobia, a volunteer with the group, said that the latest demonstration was intended to show the depth of community opposition. He said that a canvass of local neighborhoods found that 85% of respondents did not want the store in the area.

While he acknowledged that Wal-Mart had some outspoken supporters, Tobia said that opponents have an email distribution list of 1,800, and 3,000 signatures thus far on a petition that reads, in part:

“…I believe that a Walmart Super Center will add significant traffic congestion and have a negative financial impact and an increased rate of crime in and around residential properties in the 56 communities along the 924 corridor. A store who’s policy is to allow travelers and campers to stay overnight for free does not belong in close proximity to schools and residences.”

Echoing some of those themes on Saturday were protesters Richard and Kayleen Saucier, who have lived in the nearby Bright Oaks residential development for 26 years. The pair said that they were also concerned that increased traffic would slow emergency vehicles in the area, and that the new store would drive some in the Festival at Bel Air out of business.

Rather than build in Bel Air, Tobia said that the group has urged Wal-Mart to expand the Abingdon store. Wal-Mart representatives have said that the Abingdon property will not accommodate the Supercenter that they want to build.

The site of the proposed Bel Air Supercenter is zoned for business, paving the way for the store to be built once the regulatory requirements for new developments are met. Among those requirements is a traffic study showing how the company will acceptably mitigate traffic at certain nearby intersections.

After rejecting the company’s initial traffic study in October, the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning requested a revised study, which the company said at the time it planned to provide. However, the revised study had not been received by the department as of late last week, according to Shane Grimm, a senior department official.

By proceeding with plans for the Bel Air store, Tobia said the company was saying, “screw the community; this is what we’re doing.” He said that the protests would continue with plans to attend the next county council meeting on January 15th.

Comments

  1. says

    Anyone interested in the true story of Walmart, should read about what they do or watch the Documentary Channel show on their business. They have so many employees on various types of public assistance, that it is costing all taxpayers enormous sums. The employees have no health insurance, so they opt for Medicaid. Also, because they are paid such low wages, they are on food stamps and state programs to help the poor. In Florida alone, over 12,000 Walmart employees are on food stamps, Medicaid, and a state program called Floridaid. A Walmart executive was actually caught on camera saying that “Medicaid is our health insurance plan”. Our tax dollars pay for Medicaid.
    This, coupled with the poor quality products they sell (many of which are made in foreign sweat shops), are more than enough to keep me out of their stores. Of course, their poor treatment of women is also well documented. I haven’t been in a Walmart store in over 5 years, and don’t intend to shop there, regardless of where they are located.

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  2. native says

    “Traffic Safety” as you line the sides of MD 924 causing a distraction to passing motorists.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
    • Bob Dunherst says

      Quite the hypocrisy, isn’t it?

      Residents of Constant Friendship should line the curb with “So Long Wal-Mart” and “Thanks for leaving” signs.

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      • noble says

        As a resident closer to the current store than the proposed store, and not a Walmart shopper, I will be personally be glad to see the store go if that happens– however, that doesn’t mean the plan is a good one, or that we should just leave our fellow residents to twist in the wind.

        Cause the next time you want their support for a bad idea in your backyard, you won’t get it.

        We should be mindful of working for each other, not against each other.

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    • Scott Bupp says

      Whil there’s a certain truth to the fact that Protestors are created a traffic issue currently … this is SHORT TERM. If the WalMart is built, the traffic congestion will be FOREVER!!!!

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  3. MT says

    Let’s call a spade a spade here. First of all, let me preface this comment by saying I do NOT want a Wal-Mart ANYWHERE near my house. I agree that the traffic congestion would be even worse than it is now. Especially since, again, I live right there. I don’t have time for that.

    Most importantly, though, I do not want a Wal-Mart anywhere near my house because Wal Mart is disgusting, and the demographic shift will have a huge sociological impact. There are two schools RIGHT THERE. Kids walk on that road. Kids frantically scamper across that road. I think many people echo my “NIMBY” sentiments for MANY other reasons too, besides the abhorrent traffic. Additionally, Wal-Mart is a terrible corporation. Both times I’ve been in there in the past few years I’ve regretted it. From the terrible lighting to the comprehensive gun selection, its just a really awful place. There has been ENOUGH development in this area. I associate terrible things with Wal Mart and I’ll practically be able to see it from my deck. NO THANX

    Furthermore, instead of holding signs up on the side of 924, which I suppose is “raising awareness” why don’t we collectively figure out how to stop it. I’m going to google it now… but It was a VERY shady deal, and the county administration did a shitty job of transparency…. which, as our local elected officials/important people, they have a responsibility to not make deals that are going to make a majority of the people outraged. WE NEED TO HOLD THESE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE.

    I am glad to see so many people “out there” and and least trying to make a difference, albeit, a little too late.

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    • Bob Dunherst says

      Thanks for your opinion. It is in fact, “too late” but however, for you, it was never “too late” What do I mean? Precisely, before settling on your home you have every chance that anyone else has to understand zoning rules and regulations, and also; to know what those unoccupied zoned lots are actually zoned for.

      Complaining after the fact you moved into one of Harford Counties most growing suburban metro area is rather humorous to read, and shows your ignorance.

      Perhaps you should take a ride down YORK Road in Baltimore County as to what you should expect the areas of Route 24 and Old 24 (924) to look like in the next decade.

      Again, I thank you for your opinion and encourage you read mine thoroughly to let this information “sink in.”

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  4. Retired Archetect says

    Please give me a break. Look, I don’t want a Wal Mart built there either, but saying it’s bad because of traffic safety is just ridiculous. As hard as it may be to understand, roads actually become safer when there is total grid lock. The intersections in that area have already been graded as failing by the State, so adding a store will continue to create absolute grid lock which makes the area safer (from a traffic view point). You folks have no idea how to wage a battle with this issue. You can’t stop Wal Mart from building, it’s zoned correctly. You have to put them in a box where it’s just too cost prohibitive to build a store. The County and State could dictate that they make a lot of road improvements to B.A. S. Pkwy, Plumtree, 924 and 24. And that is just the beginning. You can also insist on proper noise abatement, the “look” and building materials for the store (make them use stone or brick on all four walls), no cinder block, etc, etc. .

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    • noble says

      Traffic “safety” is not a strong argument to make, and you explained why. However, people could argue that the more congestion people sit have to wait around in, that they will then drive faster once they get out of it simply because of frustration and/or lost time. Watch what people do on the highway after sitting in traffic, many of them gun it to make up time.

      In Harford, you could argue this would decrease traffic safety, just not in the Bel Air South area, but more likely in the surrounding less dense areas and smaller roads where we have seen so many fatal accidents, many of them fatal just because of too much speed. This is a stretched argument, however.

      The better traffic argument is just time and expense. Walmart is going to make lots of money, and save money by not remodeling the old store, but it is going to come at the expense of all the rest of us driving through the area of the new store, and it will come in the form of our time, and our expense in terms of gas. It seems to me whether you want the store or not we all have a vested interest in that.

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  5. CDev says

    Does not look like a lot of traffic on the road in the photo. Also seems no one is trying to stop the medical center across the street……Interesting!

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    • Abelairmom says

      The medical center would bring 750 cars a day and bring good paying professional jobs. Walmart would bring 10000 cars a day and minimum to low wage jobs, jobs where the employees have to rely on government assistance to make ends meet.

      Well-loved. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
      • Bob Dunherst says

        Bel Air Mom, you are out of order in your reply. I suggest you re-read CDev’s comment, and reply to that question.

        I’m not clear on how traffic safety relates with personal wages and economics, but it just shows who you really are.

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        • Abelairmom says

          I believe I addressed his comments as to why local citizens would not have as many complaints on a medical center . This will be my only response to you as it seems from your tone that you just want to get into some kind of back and forth argument and I do not waste my time with those kind of activities. Have a nice Evening.

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          • Bob Dunherst says

            Absolutely not BelAirMom. I love to hear opinions of all kind, however; generalizing peoples wages and economic status was not an appropriate answer to his question. Would you agree to that? I think anyone who can read first grade level would agree to that statement.

            It has absolutely nothing to do with “traffic safety”

            If you didn’t want to “waste your time,” you wouldn’t have even posted a comment to start with.

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          • Because says

            Bob. There are compelling reasons Not to Build a Walmart there. Just because you are rational and willing to give in to the myth that Zoning changes are done in the best interest of the populace with adequate warning of what the future may hold, does not obviate the irritation and betrayal felt by these people. Thank you for your concern for the law and lack of regard for people that object to the effect of the zoning change that slipped by without mentioning they could be neighbors to a big box store with ludicrous levels of traffic. MD 924 sucked when I arrived here ten years ago and the shock that they only added a central passing lane neglected how congested it becomes.

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      • Retired Architect says

        Abelairmom says 10,000 cars a day. That is absolutely ridiculous. Please, while you and I may agree that we don’t want a Wal Mart there, stick to the facts and not exagerations. I don’t think there will be 25,000 people a day going into the store. Thats the 2.5 people per car estimate for sales.

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        • Abelairmom says

          Retired, that 10,000 figure was from Wal-mart itself. If you look at the Dagger article regarding Wal-mart’s traffic study deficiencies, you will see that figured originated at the July community input meeting where Wal-mart described that figure as a reasonable estimate.

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          • pete slordethveski says

            Yeah, because we all know how 100 percent correct the news and “studies” are.

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          • says

            My notes from the July community input meeting say that a company official confirmed, in response to a question from the audience, that the store could generate up to 10,000 vehicle TRIPS per day, which is what I have consistently reported.

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          • CDev says

            COULD generate UP to TRIPS 10,000. That does not equal WILL have 10,000 CARS EVERYDAY. A trip is one way so imediately you only have 5,000 cars and than it will not be daily you have that. On the weekend, when the commuter traffic is low is when you will have your higher numbers. Cindy will you may have reported it correctly some people are either not understanding the wording correctly or are deliberatley distorting it to fit their agenda!

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          • noble says

            CDev,

            While saying 10,000 cars a day may not be completely accurate, it is correct and still legitimate. Walmart officials have confirmed the figure several times in various places. Also, this was the figure generated by Walmart’s own study, a study done for them, which naturally will favor them by default. Also note that Planning and Zoning rejected that study and also required them to change the calculations used to generate the number of “trips” to more accurately reflect all the uses incorporated into a Super Walmart, so their next study might actually show more “trips” than that.

            Also, a traffic control system doesn’t care about how many distinct “cars” it is handling, all it cares about is “trips”, and if the system cannot handle the amount of trips predicted, that’s really all that matters. Whether each car represents 1,2, or 4 trips doesn’t really matter in terms of managing the traffic.

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  6. K says

    I’m curious where do the Walmart employees = welfare benefits stats originate? It may be true, I’ve just never heard it before. I suppose it has more to do with income and number of family members. I may be eligible for government assistance and never knew it! Is there still a chance that a Walmart Super Center won’t be allowed at the mentioned location? Or is the protesting an afterthought? Historically, when Walmart has its sites set on a specific location, they will build there. Has anyone researched political donations from Walmart to those that will vote or have any say as to the construction?

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    • Abelairmom says

      Walmart itself admits that 5% of their associates and 27% of their associates children are on Medicaid and a total of 46% of their associates children are either on meidcaid or are uninsured (cost of hospital care for the uninsured are usually then absorbed by those of us with insurance via higher premiums). Source: Susan Chanmbers, Walmart vp of benefits Report to Walmat Board of Directors FY200688

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      • BelairBob says

        It’s 100% legal so who cares? There are plenty of small mom and pop stores in Belair/ harford county paying their employees minimum wage with no benefits, are you going after them next?

        Or do you have an agenda for your hate?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8
        • Because says

          Ah Hate. How nice of you to bring that up. It is my sincere hope that in whatever profession or “job” you find yourself in, you could be reduced to living on minimum wage and dependent on public assistance. Right back at you with the Hate BelairBob. Wishing something like that on anyone characterizes exactly how self absorbed and uncaring you are.

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          • BelairBob says

            I wished nothing on you but you certainly did a wonderful job telling us all how self absorbed and uncaring you are…. +1

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
        • Abelairmom says

          It may be legal, but we end up paying for it in the end. Plus, Walmart tends to depress wages and quality of products down it’s supply chain, the mom and pops don’t have that effect.

          And like the other Bob, I can tell from your tone that you are One of those who get too personal and demeaning with your responses and seem to enjoy stirring the pot way too much so this will be my last response to you. Have a nice day.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9
          • BelairBob says

            Tone? You need to step away from trying to legislate the actions of others with your emotions. Perhaps then you would be able to continue the discussion in an adult manner.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
          • pete slordethveski says

            Where do you shop of you are so against walmart?

            Tone lol I didn’t know you could hear people through text, nice job at attaching emotion to text, dumbass

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          • Abelairmom says

            Pete, tone is term used in writing as well. In fact, reading directly from to my son’s middle school English notebook, tone is used to show the writer’s attitude toward a subject. Examples given are humerous, suspicious, impatient, bored. But if cursing at me makes you feel a little bit better about yourself, go right ahead.

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          • ChrisD says

            Hello Bel Air Mom. I believe the correlation between your child’s English class notebook and internet commenting boards has a vast difference in today’s society. We are all well aware of definitions of the English dictionary.

            Furthermore, I should remind you this is an internet commenting “zone” and people read comments how they want to read them, with whatever type of personality, and emotion they want to add to them and then, respond to them in their own manner.

            P.S. It is obvious people use emotion to legislate their opinions and beliefs (ahem: Take a look at the picture displayed on this very news article)

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    • noble says

      K,

      At this point, the primary decider on the issue is Walmart. The community has every right to pursue all manner of ways to persuade Walmart that it would be in their best interests to stay where they are. The project has to be approved the the nec

      As far as the government assistance stats of Walmart employees, this is very well documented. A little looking will confirm. Is Walmart the only company in that situation? No. That should be a warning sign for all of us, however.

      But they are absolutely true. In addition to the stats, I personally know of many many people employed full-time for Walmart who still qualify for almost every government program there is– even if you don’t want to blame Walmart for that, I think it pretty clearly highlights that we have problems that need to be addressed somewhere. Do we have too many programs? Probably so.

      But do Walmart’s convenient every day low prices that we so fervently demand have an impact on wages and benefits? Absolutely they do. For consumers to absolve themselves of that reality is straight up cognitive dissonance theory. Something has to give, the prices, the wages, the taxes, or the profits. Which one do you want it to be?

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      • The Money Tree says

        Indeed Noble – it’s entirely obvious that the low price leader would by necessity be the low wage payor. We therefore as consumers are complicit in suppressing wage levels when nothing else factors into consumer choices – not quality, not our neighbors, not the long term good of our communities, not variety, nor uniqueness, – only price. Now Walmart wants groceries – they want to become the dominant player in providing food to everyone – no matter what it does to local markets, smaller grocery chains, not to mention small farmers who already exist on the bubble in comparison to corporate farms. I remember last year when we were having these same arguments and somebody tried to tell me (I think Alex) that Walmart and Best Buy were not competitors – now look at Best Buy and there’s a Walmart ad on tv touting electronics. We will all rue the day we allowed our markets, our retail marketplace to slide into one basket; the Walmart basket.

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  7. says

    The facts on Walmart are everywhere, but you will never see it or hear it from the main stream media. Walmart has suppressed it, just like they do a threat of a union. They have an “anti-union staff” on call 24/7 in Arkansas to take action when they hear the slightest rumor of employees organizing. A turbo prop jet is at their disposal to immediately fly a to any Walmart location on a moments notice where unionization is being discussed. They use strong-arm tactics, including termination of employees to make their point.

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  8. Spiro Anatolus says

    Walmart is fabulous.

    They make food and other goods more affordable for everyone.

    Thank you Walmart you are welcome in Harford County.

    And I can’t wait to see what new retailer goes into your old location.

    Economic development for everyone and growing our tax base.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6
    • says

      I hope I never have to walk through the doors of a Walmart. This is, of course, subject to the day when they have driven everyone else out of business. Good luck buying the poor quality products they sell.
      I assume the tax base you say will grow is the taxes all of us will have to pay to support the Medicaid, food banks and other services their employees need.

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      • Spiro Anatolus says

        I am for cheaper Crest toothpaste, Scope, Q-tips, bread, Nabisco crackers, Coke, Pepsi, TVs, computers, car batteries, tires for everyone.

        Commercial property taxes that Walmart will pay and the property taxes paid on the old location are beneficial to Harford County.

        You can buy your goods elsewhere.

        Walmart is a great American institution that raises people out of poverty and rewards its investors like pension funds, mutual funds in 401Ks and IRAs.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8
  9. BelairBob says

    I would imagine the fallston store also attracts over 10,000 cars per day and the traffic on belair road seems to be way better now than before walmart and all those houses were built…..

    Go figure…..

    And for the medical center only getting 750 cars per day think about it….. between employees and customers they wouldn’t stay in business a week.

    You people need to stop trying to legislate with your emotions.

    Don’t like the laws?

    Change them till then we are all governed equally including walmart.

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    • Bob Dunherst says

      I agree Bob. These “residents” had years and years to protest the zoning (and future zoning). Being reactive is not the answer, and I laugh at it. Proactive is the key here, and the majority of these “NIMBYish” protesters failed to do anything until it was literally, in their backyard.

      A dollar short, and a day late.

      If not Wal-Mart, would these signs read “NO TARGET” – “NO KMART” It seems the complex here is that no one wants anything in that clump of land, but too bad, the infrastructure, support, and the people (population increase) is bringing that all here; to glorious ‘country’ Harford county.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
      • BelairBob says

        You may laugh but seriously looking at those nimby boobs lining 924 protesting things they have no clue of is really kinda sad.

        Gee I don’t like my neighbor maybe we can get a protest going to have their property zoning retroactively changed so they will have to move and we can mow their house down.

        It’s a big country out there people, don’t like walmart in your hood?

        MOVE! there are plenty of properties for sale.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8
        • Because says

          Do you always pander to people that make big bucks? That’s what this is all about. You think just because people have money that somehow your life will be made better by their wisdom and pursuit of the almighty dollar. Your worship of Robber Barons and dislike of muck rakers places you somewhere in the 1900s. Why has your kind not died off? Is it because you manage to keep your women barefoot, pregnant and dependent on good folks like yourself?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
          • Spiro Anatolus says

            Because

            Uncalled for personal attack on BelairBob.

            The dollar is not “almighty” it just paper, but why don’t you try living your life without money?

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      • An American Guesser says

        I am so tired of hearing this tripe that it is zoned commerical so if WalMart wants to build there it is a fait accompli. That is ridiculous. Not every venture is right for every location. The county can decide on density, traffic issues, etc. The mantra of it’s zoned to accept Walmart is a red herring. If Larry Flynt wanted to build a 186,000 sq ft Hustler Club on the location there would rightly be plenty of howls of protest. But why? It would be zoned for it, right?

        We wouldn’t hear the inane pro-WalMart arguments being made above; though it would create jobs and those jobs would likely pay more than your average WalMart associate. People would object for many of the same reasons.

        Most of the people living in the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed WalMart site lived there prior to the zoning change. Don’t blame them for not wanting their neighborhood destroyed. Look at other WalMart locations. You will find them in major commercial areas on commercial roads NOT in the middle of established residential neighborhoods in close proximity of 3 schools. 924 is not even able to be expanded in most of the area surrounding the proposed store without putting the street on the doorstep of homeowners.

        To you pro-WalMart trolls on this board you are outnumbered by responsible people able to have a realistic cogent thought on the issue. It is obvious you are unfamiliar with the area and thus uninformed on the realities of life and traffic in Bel Air South. WalMart should remodel and expand their current location. Period.

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    • noble says

      BelairBob, three statements you made I’d like to address.

      1. Maybe the Fallston store does attract that many cars a day. Comparing that location to the proposed location at Plumtree doesn’t appear to be a helpful comparison. There is no comparing US 1, a major interstate route, to 924, a local arterial collector state road. They were designed to do different things. Moreso, the Fallston store has direct access to US1. If the proposed store had direct access to MD24, you might have an argument, but that access will not be granted by SHA. This is another example of Walmart trying to ram their square peg into a round hole.

      2. Even if the traffic is qualitatively better at the Fallston store location, and even if that is due to the improvements undertaken by Walmart, there is a good bet it is a fleeting improvement. If you understand the way traffic studies are conducted and the requirements used by Planning and Zoning, you would quickly see that these “improvements” are the bare minimum, and that in the ensuing years when all the improvements that can be done have been done and the right of way is all used up, development will continue and the traffic will worsen. So if we allow Walmart to use all the right of way on these roads now, what happens when the next development comes along? More traffic, but less improvements. And again, everyone is paying for Walmart’s nice profits.

      3. The traffic study has not been completed or submitted for the proposed Medstar facility, so none of us can say for sure what will come of it. The 750 cars a day is a back of the hand figure given by Medstar officials. It does not include the future expansion of Phase 2, but they expect only an additional 250 trips/cars a day from that, so the whole thing tops out at 1000, which is 10% of the Walmart figure. The problem we do have is that 10 of these smaller projects equal one Walmart so we do have to pay attention to all of them, but adding one super Walmart is an obviously more imposing proposition.

      Many of the primary complaints against Walmart from opponents cannot attributed to a project like the Medstar one, despite whatever problems it may have. There is no valuable comparison.

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  10. ALEX R says

    Well, folks, there are a lot of businesses in Harford County that are doing things that are 100% legal but that I wish they wouldn’t do.

    Since when did we decide that a bunch of us could ignore the law and whine at others just because they inconvenience us? That’s not what America is about.

    I will go to the Walmart when it opens – and it will – and I will see most of you there.

    As for Walmart employing people who don’t make enough total money to afford health care didn’t Obama ram universal health care that down our throats even when over 70% of us said we didn’t want it? What do you want Walmart to do? Figure out every one of their employees who might be eligible for public assistance of any kind and fire them? That would improve Walmart’s numbers. Some of you folks need to get your head screwed on right. You don’t want Walmart in your neighborhood even though they have a legal right to come and you are grasping at every straw you can find to stop them. And that includes making up stuff that has no basis in fact or logic.

    See you there.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7
  11. Brian says

    I think all of you that are SO against this store being built should pool your money together and buy the property. Then it would be your right to stop it. But until then enough is enough. You all had the chance to fight zoning and did nothing. You didn’t want houses there and now you don’t want Walmat there. Soory but it is not your call. It IS too late. Now you all get back to work so you can support the Target that does the same thing as Walmart does.

    Well-loved. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4
  12. The Money Tree says

    Every citizen has a right to object to anything that will have an affect, and in this case an enormous effect on the tenor of the entire neighborhood for years and years to come. Walmart is a horrible corporate citizen; always has been and that’s how the Walmart family occupies 5 of the top 10 richest people in the world positions. They didn’t get that rich by paying fair wages, engaging in mutually advantageous agreements or for that matter playing by fair minded business rules or etiquette. The Walmart way leads to low wages and low quality across the board as every other business struggles to compete on an unequal playing field. I’ll accept that we already have several in Harford; moving closer to town is unnecessary and unwanted. I’m pretty sure in the end they’ll wait it out and end up getting what they want. We should all pledge that nobody shops there once it opens. If just 10% of us hold out and shop at other locations already in existance instead we can shut it down. Ultimately we do hold the cards and ultimately if we’re willing to stand firm we can create the place and sort of commerce we want. We chose…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • BelairBob says

      Of course you have the right to object, that is what this country is about, everyone’s individual freedoms.

      Unfortunately it has no bearing on the legality of walmart building where it is allowed, but you keep right on objecting…..

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      • The Money Tree says

        I don’t argue that they don’t have legal right. I do argue that we can vote with our wallets and if enough of us pledge we’ll never shop there that has more effect than anything. Let them waste millions of dollars opening that location just to languish there…I hope they lose their shirts.

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        • BelairBob says

          Never gonna happen, but if it helps you sleep better at night thinking that, more power to you.

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        • ALEX R says

          Money Tree,

          You can hope they lose their shirts and their pants and whatever else you want to hope for. But they are smart enough that they don’t spend money opening a location that won’t pay it’s way. So let’s all vote with our wallets and then let’s count the votes a year after they open and see where we are. I mean isn’t that the democratic way? Majority rules? Let the voting begin.

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    • CDEV says

      Correct you can object but the time to have objected was at the well advertised zonign hearings. This traffic excuse rings hallow since you all are not protesting the medical center which by it’s description will create just as much traffic. I suspect the real reason is the neighborhood doesn’t like the clientel and if Shop Right wanted to build there would be welcomed with open arms.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
      • noble says

        It is factually wrong to say that the Medstar facility will generate as much traffic as the Walmart. If you think this is right, please support it. But this is basically indisputable. Even the base standards used by traffic engineers to determine those numbers would never come close to making that true. While all projects should be taken into context, there is no way to directly compare the two in isolation. It’s not even close.

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        • CDEV says

          The Wal-mart was proposed first. Med-Star and the apartments are second and third. If you all claim that road can’t handle Wal-Mart you should also be against the residences and Med-Star. Size is not the issue and as we have seen many are exagerating the Wall-mart numbers.

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          • noble says

            I’m sorry, I don’t know who “you all” is that you are referring to.

            And technically speaking, if the Medstar project is approved first, it is in the can first, and first into the improvement mitigations game.

            However, you are making a black and white issue out of a gray matter. Life in the development envelope requires an understanding that there will be… wait for it… development. And you can’t stop all of it. You may be able to stop some of it, or more likely, you will be able to help shape the design of it, but you can’t stop all of it. People who intend to stop development in the development envelope aren’t going to be taken seriously if they do as you implied.

            The problem is not Walmart per se, it is Walmart’s plan, which as it happens to be SUCKED. That’s why they are back at the drawing board trying to come up with something responsible enough to meet the bare minimum standards our process holds them to… this one of the largest most profitable companies in the world and they couldn’t find enough lawyers and planners to meet the standards? Come on, they didn’t meet them because they didn’t want to meet them.

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    • ALEX R says

      Baloney. I don’t think Nordstrom or Macy’s are at all concerned about Walmart. The quality merchandisers don’t see Walmart as competition. Different market. If you are concerned about low wages why not go picket MacDonald’s or Burger King or K-Mart or Sears or Klein’s. They pay the same.

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      • An American Guesser says

        Alex, you are a total moron.

        The effect that WalMart will have is NOT on Macy’s & we don’t even have a Nordstrom. WalMart will kill 70%+ f the businesses now located at the Festival along w/ NTB across the street and adjacentto the new WalMart.

        According to typical WalMart business practice they will undercut prices of the Festival businesses until they go belly up & then walMart will increase their prices. Result, an empty Zombie shopping center at Festival that will be an abandoned eyesore for years to come. You sound like a Walmart troll. How much are they paying you to be on this board shilling for them??

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        • Foil Cap says

          An American Guesser

          Walmart will rule the world one day.

          In the post-apocalyptic dystopian era ushered in during the Obama 2nd term there will be only two employers the government and Walmart.

          Who will win out?

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  13. The end says

    Lost cause, these residents should research other empty lots and protest them NOW. York road, here we come.

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  14. Dianne Webb says

    Anyone that sits at the Bel Air South Parkway light in the evening knows this area can not afford any more traffic whether it is from Walmart, the medical or the 198 apartments. But put all 3 in the mix and where in the world are you going to put all the cars? Whoever planned the infastructure around needs to go back to the drawing board! All I can say it somebody’s pocket must be getting stuffed with a payoff! They can not widen 924 because they have allowed people to build to close to the road as it is…… PLEASE NO MORE CONGESTION. Seriously, Americans have gotten lazy, how many Walmart stores can you have in a 10 mile radious? Or Walgreen stores? Or any other duplicates? It is ridiculous!

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    • CDev says

      People sit at the BSP/924 light in the evening because to many people think 924 is the route to and from Bel Air if more of them used 24 like it is designed for we would not have the issues we have!

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      • noble says

        This unfortunately is partially true.

        While I think a great many people use 924 instead of 24 because during rush hour you have to sit through multiple traffic signals to get through, there is also an unexplainable number of people who refuse to use 24.

        I watch the traffic entering and exiting 924 and there are so many other roads and ways people could get from one place to another, but yet for some reason they don’t? I don’t get it. Generally they say traffic is like water, as it will always follow the path of least resistance, but in many cases I’m seeing this isn’t actually true. Is it because people are so stuck in their habits they never look for better ways? Is it because there are so many transplants in that corridor that they don’t know the back roads?

        Saves me trouble because there’s less people in my way, but we could all benefit if the the traffic were more dispersed.

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  15. says

    I’ve heard architects and urban planners say that Towson made all of the same mistakes as Baltimore city, with its congestion, lack of parking, etc. Now, Bel Air wants to copy it.

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  16. Colleen says

    The bottom line is that a store like this should not be built so close to residences or schools. I live right across the street from the proposed Walmart. I will see it from my deck. I will have a 5-6 lane highway a few houses away. It is not in keeping with our community at all. It’s too close to homes and schools. Where else have you seen a Walmart this close to communities? I didn’t think so! So who is going to compensate us when we can’t sell our houses, because no one wants to live here? Walmart will make a negative impact on this community. It will forever change it.

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    • ChrisD says

      Good evening. The North East Wal Mart is in close proximity to a residential area, as is the Aberdeen Wal-Mart, to include an elementary school less than 1/4 mile.

      The Wal Mart that is located in Perry Hall (Route 43) also borders a residential area.

      Shall I continue?

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        • ChrisD says

          Sir, I believe you are incorrect. It’s George D Lisby at Hillsdale Elementary school. Do the math, it’s about 1/4 mile from the store.

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          • ChrisD says

            I will admit, the Hillsdale Elementary school is a further distance away than the current projected 924 Wal Mart is from Patternson Mill… for argument sake and the sake of not ‘splitting hairs,’ the comment that “You dont see Wal Mart building near schools” is moot. I’m sure Google Maps can find another Wal Mart that is nearby a Public or Private school, and most certainly, a neighborhood.

            Unless these 924 Residents consider 100 feet non-obtrusive, but 99 feet and closer obtrusive. I don’t know where the logic lies. I suppose plant a few tree’s if the view bothers you.

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          • says

            I drive past Hillsdale Elementary while delivering as a volunteer for Meals On Wheels. It is on Edmunds Street, much more than 1/4 mile from the Walmart on Philadelphia Blvd.

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          • BrightOak says

            Calvert Hall in Towson is literally across the street from WalMart and Target along with a dozen other stores. This is a school that costs $12,500 per year to attend. Does anyone think the traffic and presence of big box retail has impacted the quality of education and level of safety at that school? You think parents back down on enrolling their child there because, god forbid, a WalMart is within walking distance?

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      • warham says

        Wal mart is about a 1/4 mile to 3/8 of a mile away from the Hillsdale school, i know this because when I’m.doing volunteering for every volunteer organization. Yep.

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    • CDev says

      The Wal Mart in Abingdon???? Constant Friendship and Abingdon Elementary School. C-mart in Joppatowne was near Joppatowne HS and ES and Riverside ES in addition to the main drag of Joppatowne.

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    • BrianC says

      They are actually building a brand new beautiful community within 75 yards of the Walmart in Fallston. I might add, there will be a slight premium for those houses since you can safely walk to the store. Lastly, the houses are going up, after the Walmart was built.

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    • yeah ummm says

      Actually, Hillsdale is not much further than 1/4 mile away from the Walmart,.okay so 1450 feet, not 1320. Unless your logic of distance is driving through neighborhood roads reading your odometer.

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    • CDEV says

      Why should I pay you because you did not pay attention to the zoning signs????? Personal Responsibility!

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    • Gary says

      What does a store near a school have to do with anything? It was ok to build a firehouse right next to a school (what an insane idea that was) but a store down the road is not ok. Let’s forget McDonalds, Sonic, Walgreens and of course The Festival.
      The development envelope was decided before most of you ever thought of coming to Harford County. If I had it my way Rt 24 and all the development that came with it would never have existed. In 1978 it was all country. But that is beyond my control and it is what it is.
      As far as being compensated for what loses you may or may not incur due to changes around you, good luck with that. Last I checked we were still in a free market based society.

      I will probably not visit that Walmart as often as I do the Fallston one, but I will not avoid it.

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  17. rj derrick says

    Don’t you think that people standing along the road waving signs isn’t creating a traffic hazard? Kind of defeats your arguement, doesn’t it? To those complaing about Walmart paying miminum wages and no benefits, think about that the next time you order a pizza to be delivered to your house. Ask the delivery man if he is making more that minimum wage and getting benefits. That argument doesn’t matter then, does it?

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  18. MLB says

    Saying that people should have no voice-or complain- because they didn’t protest the zoning change is asinine. People are working longer hours and taking care of their families, who can find the time to research “zoning notice” signs or look for zoning notices in newspapers? We trust that our politicians WE HAVE ELECTED to handle this are looking out for us.
    Comparing traffic issues of a 190,000 sq. ft 24 hr a day Walmart to a stand alone McDonalds, Walgreens or a medical facility is another dishonest and illogical argument.
    To demonize and hurl the “hate” tag at people is offensive, hypocritical and illogical- people are only trying to protect the value of their homes, school zone issues, and avoid excessive and noisy traffic congestion. Walmart has stated that to enlarge their current location would not be considered because it would be “an interruption” to their daily business. What do you think that means? They would LOSE some $money$, so Walmart will move and keep the current location open while they build the new one so they won’t lose a cent! Why don’t you turn that self-righteous criticism against the unabashed greed of Walmart? That move is a huge negative for the community and a big plu$ for Walmart. The two proponents who wrote to The Aegis gave the real self-serving reasons they support – move the traffic congestion to Plumtree (Walter Neutze) and provide 24 hour shopping convenience across the street for a single mom (Elizabeth Cox).

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    • Kharn says

      Walmart’s regular employees are not construction workers, so renovating the Constant Friendship store would require laying off the regular employees. They would also see reduced business due to people believing the store is closed, or not wanting the hassle of moving around construction. The decision to build a new store and close the old one is their best financial choice, to do otherwise would not be in the best service of their stock holders.

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      • The Money Tree says

        The Target store in Belair added an entire grocery section without closing the store. That a specious argument…

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        • BelairBob says

          Because target did or did not do something has no bearing on walmarts ability to build a new store.

          Yours is a straw man argument.

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          • The Money Tree says

            Read for content Belair Bob…my comment had to do with the assumption that a store has to close in order to build a grocery section – this is about groceries isn’t it – that’s been the whole mantra from the beginning isn’t it? I’m talking about the existing store; not a new store. If mine is straw man what’s yours; ill informed or kneejerk?

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          • BelairBob says

            What Target did or didn’t do has nothing to do with building a new walmart. Target also has a store next to the walmart in constant friendship and another in town. Who cares? OMG shoprite sells dvd players and toaster ovens they must be walmart too…..

            Focus.

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        • CDEV says

          The Target store did not add physical square footage and not groceries like Wal-Mart is planning on. Wal-Mart has what Target currently has.

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      • noble says

        In retail renovations it is standard practice to convert all the employees into renovation employees. As construction goes on, it is necessary to constantly move and re-do planograms and reset merchandise. There is plenty of work for the current employees during renovations, so long as the store stays open, and even then there is still some. Also consider that they have several stores within reasonable driving distance that employees could be temporarily re-assigned to, which is also standard practice in retail.

        Walmart never seriously addressed this question, however, only stating that it was cost prohibitive to renovate the current store. When pressed on the issue, they have never given a detailed response or provided any substantial arguments to support their comments. They ducked it. Most likely the reason they are not discussing it is because renovating the current store would cost them more money, and they wouldn’t like the general public to know it.

        Because again, their profits will come at our expense, one way or another.

        But they have a right to do business as they see fit and a duty to their board and shareholders, as other have discussed.

        But just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done. I have never been a Walmart shopper, and until a few years ago was pretty indifferent on them in general. This latest issue however, has turned me sharply against the company. In this matter, locally, in our community, they have handled this relocation very poorly from the beginning, and seem to repeatedly take actions that emphasize that they value their profit over generally any other issue.

        Not a place I will do business with.

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        • Kharn says

          If you refuse to patronize Walmart already, why should they listen to your opinion? Would renovating the Constant Friendship store (vs moving) suddenly make you shop there?

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          • noble says

            I suppose if you are the number 1 retailer in the world, you can decide not to listen to potential customers, but generally speaking in business and retail especially, it’s the customers you aren’t getting that you should listen to the most.

            In any case, Walmart should listen to all of our opinions as residents in the community. They have been a part of the community for many years and ideally the best way to do things is through dialogue.

            For example, let’s say you wanted to tear down all the trees on some portion of your property, and those trees happen to be the shade for your neighbor’s deck. So you have a choice, you can just tear them down, as it is your RIGHT to do, or you can go over to your neighbor and tell him what you were going to do and have a conversation about it. Maybe he’s okay with that, maybe he’s not. Maybe he’d like to know so he can start saving for a roof or something, and the fact that you told him was really appreciated. Maybe he just gets angry and you decide to tear down the trees anyway. At least you had the consideration to tell him first, right? Even if the end result is the same, at least you did the right thing.

            Walmart hasn’t demonstrated any of this neighborly attitude with the community for this project. Do they have to do it? No. Is it their RIGHT to do whatever they want? Yeah, sure. Is it the right way to go about it? I don’t think so.

            If they had a sudden epiphany and decided to stay at Constant Friendship, it might not make me a Walmart shopper again, but it would sure go a long way to changing my mind about how they do business, and I’d be less inclined to say unflattering things about them at parties.

            All that just since you asked, but this is not about me, it’s about the community, and there are a great many Walmart customers who aren’t happy with either the location or some part of the plans. Walmart hasn’t shown much interest in listening to them either.

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    • CDEV says

      You did not have to research them it was in plain signage all over the property for months before hand!!!!

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    • Brian says

      MLB, I see the largest flaw in your argument right off the bat. You say we should “trust” our elected officals. You trusted them and now you are getting screwed. Your fault no one elses. When will people wake up and realize that an elected offical should NEVER be trusted?

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    • Gary says

      As a local Harford County business owner I have been a Walmart vendor for about ten years. We have been involved in many Walmart remodels(where they turn a regular sized store into a SuperCenter) and many new stores. I look forward to every store remodel and opening as new business for us.We have done work in many Walmarts from Allentown, PA to Charleston, SC. In these tough economic times I appreciate the business. So do my employees that live in Harford County.
      Just for clarification they remodel a store it stays open the entire time so they keep their employees working. When they relocate and build a SuperCenter they allow those from the old store to move to the new store.
      So remember, when you buy your groceries at Giant or Food Lion, you’re sending the profits overseas. They are not American owned companies.

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  19. ALEX R says

    That crappy Walmart! They have pledged to hire every honorably discharged veteran that wants a job. Every one of them. Now I hope that most of our discharged veterans can find a better job than Walmart and make better money but can any one of you Walmart bashers name me one other company that has made or will make a similar pledge? Please just name me one. Oh, you can’t? Some of you Walmart bashers have businesses. Will any of you take the pledge?

    Colleen, I am glad you live so close to Walmart. That way you can walk. And why in the world did you buy a house that close to a large parcel of land zoned so that a Walmart could build there if you feel the way you do? What were you thinking? Not really smart in hindsight was it? And now you want to be compensated for your poor judgment? Oh my. I’ve been thinking that we need to create a new State bureaucracy. Let’s call it the DPJR – the Department of Poor Judgment Reimbursements. They could have a form where citizens fill out what they did that showed poor judgment and request the state reimburse them for their loss.

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    • The Money Tree says

      This from a Huffington Post report of a couple days ago. Walmart is experiencing something of a public backlash and they’ve been caught bribing officials in Mexico in order to “grease” the ability to open stores. Here’s your real Walmart now caught doing what they do best using “any means necessary” to push their way into total market dominance.

      “In two reports last year, the New York Times described how Walmex used large bribes throughout Mexico to open stores it would otherwise have been unable to launch, and how Wal-Mart headquarters had stifled an early internal probe.”

      The heat is on them for this one – certainly telling of the true nature and essence of this company. Excuse me for being a bit jaded at this attempt at image control…between openly bribing officials (and you don’t think that goes on here in this country too) and they’re inclusion in the Obama gun grab committee I’m not accepting any action by this company of giving a hoot about communities or veterans.

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      • ALEX R says

        How many veterans has your employer publicly pledged to hire this year? Or, if you are an employer, as I am, how many have you pledged to hire?

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        • The Money Tree says

          Worked over 20 years for one of the venerable old companies that I will not name. They not only actively pursued veterans, they held positions open indefinitely for anyone called into service. Not only that a retired marine is on the Board of Directors and he was fast tracked…all that and paying a decent wage; starting wages more in line with what you’d need to pay a mortgage and feed a family and that always tried to promote from within. This company has done this for years, without fanfare, without pubic proclamation or a press release. If this push for veterans is new to them (Walmart) and requires a press release I have very great doubts about thier priorities or sincerity. My company’s starting wage is 3 times the $8.00/hour Walmart pays and with full benefits. How do they do that? It starts by producing the best, not necessarily the cheapest.

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          • ALEX R says

            Good for them. There is a market for the best and your company decided to concentrate on that market. There is also a market for the least expensive and other companies have decided to target that market, Walmart among them. But not just Walmart. Let’s not turn up our collective noses at the people who want to buy inexpensive or are required by economic circumstances to buy the least expensive. And let’s not turn up our collective noses at the companies who have decided to meet their demand. I am not required by economic circumstances to shop at Walmart but a great number of our fellow citizens are required to do so.

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          • The Money Tree says

            All well and good but none of that had to do with the original question posed. My company did not feel the need to run a series of press conferences to announce long standing company policies – the board does the right thing without needing to shine a continual light or contact the press. To your last suggestion…something about our fellow citizens who might need to shop at Walmart. That’s fine then shop at Walmart we already have a Walmart; in fact several in this county. This isn’t about anybody banning Walmart; it’s about not wanting the Walmart at that location when there’s a store about half a mile down the road. Walmart’s existence is not at issue; Walmart’s existence at that location is.

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          • ALEX R says

            Well, Money Tree, did your company offer to hire EVERY veteran that wanted a job or just the ones that met your qualifications? When I hire I give veterans first preference assuming the job skills are there but I don’t offer to hire EVERY veteran. And neither does your company.

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          • The Money Tree says

            Be real Alex; both you and I know that Walmart won’t be hiring every veteran. Maybe a few will find work there but they won’t stay long because you can’t make Walmart your career and pay the rent. Highly suspicious that Walmart has been in several recent meetings with the White House and suddenly takes a very generous buy America and hire America tone. Perhaps the white house has promised a “go soft” approach to playing hardball in the Walmart union/health care issues of late in exchange for a bit of corporate welfare – after all it ought to help Obama keep his unemployment stats down. There’s no other way to describe a job, offered to anybody and everybody in times where they’re already fully staffed and not opening that many new stores? They’re going to hire these people and have them do what? Stand by the front door greeting customers? Sweep in circles? Would you call that gainful and necessary employment or some new form of welfare? Everyone applauds the hiring of vets whenever possible but excuse me for thinking this announcement seems a bit odd. Never heard of a successful company hiring people they don’t need to do things that apparently don’t matter – at least didn’t matter until suddenly a day or so ago.

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          • BelairBob says

            Geez money tree it was a simple question why all the hub bub…..

            Alex the answer is no.

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        • The Money Tree says

          Just for fun let’s assume Walmart suddenly becomes a fabulous corporate citizen – does that really change the appropriateness of having a big box store on Plum Tree? Aren’t we drifting off subject a bit?

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          • BelairBob says

            Who gets to decide what is and is not what is appropriate?

            So if not a walmart there what would make money tree happy?

            Perhaps a new county detention center, as the old one is already out dated. Would you be happy with a high rise of criminals money tree? How about a porn store with a no tell motel?

            Time is short and you’ll need to make up a short list of what is and isn’t acceptable to you. If you’re hoping for a bed and breakfast with a candle store and an antique boutique with a french bistro attached you might not get it without some sort of effort…..

            So money tree tell us all and the Dayhans ( the owner of the property) what you think an acceptable occupant would be for the property…….

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      • Kharn says

        Bribery in Mexico?! I am shocked. Completely shocked.
        Next you’ll tell me there are Canadians in Canada.

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        • The Money Tree says

          This isn’t just petty payments demanded by crooked Mexican police here so ridicule all you want this is about Walmart, an American company doing international business with a Mexican division that broke international law in this case – if prosecuted it could end up being very expensive for them. I doubt that will happen however as they I’m sure have bought and paid for everyone or anyone who might really pursue the issue.

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    • warham says

      Right on man! Alex nailed it.

      Here’s sole America for you, don’t like it? Pack up and move.

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    • The Money Tree says

      As you know Alex that zoning changed. Consider that most of the folks in and along 924 lived there when that property was a forest with a long drive and a very old Victorian sitting on it still occupied. Certainly everyone sees the developement envelope getting larger and larger and swallowing up every bit of open and available land. To think everyone left in the path of commercial development “creep” needs to sit down, shut up and/or move isn’t a very neighborly response. Every citizens in this county has a right to object when it’s become too much – in this case that tipping point has been reached. Personally I think the entire county is building too quickly, with little concern for aesthetics or infrastructure. Projections are a flattening out of population increases; certainly if sequestration kicks in with massive defense dept. cuts the seemingly endless building masked with “BRAC” justification becomes null and void. When that happens we won’t need any of the new developments, the Red Pump School, the Walmart including the Fallston store, or any of the other new developments. This Walmart issue is a small piece of a bigger conundrum – how to balance the need for revenue against sustaining livability. We can’t asphalt every inch of the county justifying it with revenue enhancement. I’m not interested in living in a human cesspool and I suspect we all either live here or moved here because of the relative safety and livability. My dog won’t crap in his cage. Perhaps we should take a lesson from a small rescue terrier.

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        • The Money Tree says

          People work…people raise kids, people are exhausted most of the time. If you are suggesting it should have been protested sooner I’ll certainly not argue that point. These zoning changes and permits are often difficult to follow and zoning hearings are held at times deliberately to decrease the liklihood people can object in great numbers. I have no doubt that there’s an unhealthy alliance between local government and developers – we aren’t there when somebody from planning and zoning goes to lunch with folks from Turner Construction (for example) and/or Walmart (for example). Let’s not pretend that doesn’t happen. I’m bettin’ 9 times out of 10 some pretty solid suggestions and promises have already been made outside any zoning hearing.

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          • BelairBob says

            You are now alleging illegal activities between government and corporations?

            If I worked for Turner construction(for example) you would be hearing from my attorneys.

            While you have the freedom of speech you do not have the freedom to accuse illegal activities without some sort of proof and doing so on a public forum on the internet does have consequence.

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          • The Money Tree says

            Having lunch with a developer is not illegal. Taking bribes is…I didn’t say anyone within our city government was taking bribes.

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          • The Money Tree says

            Belair Bob – you sure do read what you think you want to hear. Get it? Do you honestly believe that folks from groups such as real estate professionals, non-profits, retail organizations, women’s groups, hobbyists and the like show up at city hall because they think the building is pretty?

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      • ALEX R says

        The lesson I take from terriers doesn’t translate to humans. Terriers are yappy little mutts that think that if they continue to yap long enough they will get what they want. Humans who continue to yap long enough, not so. I do like your analogy because the Walmart bashers do sound like yapping terriers.

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    • noble says

      Actually this is a pretty shrewd move on Walmart’s part because they have found yet another demographic that gets health insurance from the government that they won’t have to provide.

      #payroll genius

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  20. ALEX R says

    And MoneyTree, I do agree that we can’t pave every square acre of Harford County and allow growth to move forward unplanned and without some reasonable plan.

    That being said, there is a plan and the plan is to allow growth in some areas that have been designated thru the zoning and planning process. So when Walmart or Courtland Hardware or Bonefish or Bel Air Liquors, etc., wants to build a new store or relocate an existing one they look to see where the County has already said via the planning and zoning process that it will be allowed. Then they go there. If the process is flawed in the minds of some then they have recourse by throwing the bums out of office who control the planning and zoning folks. But the recourse is not to take our their anger on the company that followed the law.

    MoneyTree, this government and citizen interaction business is serious stuff and if citizens ignore it they do so at their own risk and peril.

    See you at the Walmart.

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    • noble says

      Honestly what’s most fascinating to me is that they feel they have to go so far as to break the law, considering the highway robbery they legally get away with anyway. They lobby and spend so much money to ensure laws stay favorable to them, and still there’s a need to break them?

      Like I said, not a place I’d like to do business with. Isolated cases are one thing, but when you routinely see offensive business practices both legal and illegal, it’s time to take your money elsewhere.

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  21. Truck Yeah says

    the Department of Poor Judgment Reimbursements, now that is a good one. Watch out, it may happen given today’s society.

    What is it that the community want’s in that Zoned B3 lot? I would love to hear an opinion, and for what it’s worth, it’s too late to say “Nothing,” because Harford Counties York Road Road is happening whether or not you wave signs on the curb or not.

    Some irrational and emotional comments that can’t be taken seriously: “How many Wal-Marts do you need?” How many Banks and Pharmacies do we need? etc. etc. etc. “Wal Mart pays low wages with no benefits” Plenty of Brick and Mortar Mom and Pop shops in Harford County do too. “Wal Mart never builds near communities” Drive through Baltimore County sometime.

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    • BrightOak says

      From what I’ve discerned, there are a few acceptable uses for the land as determined by the community.

      Leave it as is. Won’t happen…
      Create a park. Doubt the County would buy it.
      Mixed used retail/residential. Some people are probably oppsed to any residences on the site.
      Professional office space. The local market is saturated with it due to overestimating BRAC and a down economy.

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      • noble says

        If that’s what people want, you are right, it ain’t happening.

        It will never be left as is because there’s money to be made.
        It won’t be a park because the giant parcel south of the Festival is already slated for the same use.
        The local office space market has tanked, and nobody will build it, which means nobody can sell it, which means no money will be made.

        Mixed use B1 type retail/residential is the best fit, and if the area got that people in the area should double their tithes and go home happy.

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  22. DontBeaJerk says

    The public is NOT notified of zoning changes. You have to either subscribe to the Fish Wrap, go to the zoning department, or be able to (1) notice and then (2) stop and get close enough to read one of the tiny signs that are posted. People don’t protest re-zoning because the process is largely unknown and the notices do NOT get sent out by mail.

    WalMart gave out the figure of 10000 cars per day – which would be higher (12000?) with groceries. The second lot in the parcel could generate additional traffic. 15,000 trips per day, spread across 15 hours, is 1000 cars per hour or 17 cars every single minute. Can that area, with two schools, a fire station, several lights, and two-lane roads really handle that additional vehicle load? That is the issue.

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    • CDev says

      there we go you say 10,000 cars and that is not the number!!!!!!! it is 10,000 TRIPS!!!!!!

      Second being to lazy to stop and read a zoning sign is a poor excuse.

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  23. DontBeaJerk says

    I don’t see any difference between 10000 cars and 10000 vehicle trips (reference the article writer’s comment above). Can you elaborate?

    I agree that laziness is not an excuse for not reading a zoning sign. However, I don’t believe that is a primary reason. Not really understanding what zoning and re-zoning means, not seeing them, and feeling it is unsafe to pull over are all, at least in my opinion, more likely reasons.

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    • CDev says

      In reference to the first point read my above comment.

      As far as the second if the property was 40 minutes from my house and I saw zoning signs I might not make reading them a priority but if , as is claimed, it is litterally in my back yard, on a busy road I frequently commute on, where my kid went to school. I would make it a priority to safely read them if I could not in stop in go traffic.

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    • Kharn says

      Unsafe to pull over? There are nearby parking lots that interested parties could utilize so they could walk to the signs. Ignorance of the process is simply an invitation to become educated, it is not an excuse to demand a mulligan. The county has many resources available online for anyone that bothers to look.

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      • noble says

        Super true. This is a lot like what they say about voting, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. If you aren’t informed and involved in your community, you can’t complain either.

        Look I don’t expect every single person to pull over and read those tiny signs. But we need a lot more people do it, otherwise we end up where we are.

        Zoning is not even the true problem here, although there are some serious flaws in our zoning code and system. Walmart isn’t the problem. Even the location isn’t the problem, by itself.

        The problem is the size of the store in that location, and the plan they submitted for it, compounded by Walmart’s complete lack of desire to engage the community to find solutions. If it was a smaller store, I’d be quiet. If it was a better plan, I’d have nothing to argue about. If they had handled any of this better than they did, maybe none of us would be here talking about it at all.

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  24. don birkhalter says

    So besides the department of poor judgement reimbursements, we also need a department of self entitled ignorance. That way citizens could fill out forms for what they dont feel like doing, such as reading a sign so that now a beruecrat can do it for them

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