Proposed Harford County Council Legislation Could be Game-Changer for Bel Air Wal-Mart

The Harford County Council is considering legislation affecting big box stores that could potentially allow the Council to reject the proposed Bel Air Wal-Mart on the grounds that it would adversely affect public welfare, as hundreds of area residents have claimed.

Wal-Mart officials say it is unclear whether the law would apply to the proposed Bel Air Superstore. However, Pete Gutwald, director of planning and zoning said on Friday that the law, if passed, would cover the Wal-Mart proposal unless the company’s site plan is approved by his department before the law takes effect.

In September, Wal-Mart proposed building a Supercenter on an undeveloped parcel that is zoned for business near the intersection of Plumtree Rd. and MD 924. The plan sparked angry protests from hundreds of area residents who said that the store would add to existing traffic hazards and should not be built so close to homes and schools.

Although the County Council isn’t currently responsible for approving big box projects – that power rests with Planning and Zoning – the Council entered the fray in October, raising concerns about public safety in the area of the proposed Bel Air store. The Council asked the State Highway Administration to deny access from MD 924 to the proposed store, citing “the unsafe conditions it would create for the surrounding community.”

The new legislation sponsored Tuesday by four of the seven County Council members would change the approval process for proposed business district projects, such as the Bel Air Wal-Mart, that are 75,000 sq.ft. or larger.

First, the law would subject the projects to the development standards for Integrated Community Shopping Centers, which address site design, vehicular circulation, and other issues. The law would also newly subject the projects to approval by the County Council, acting as the Board of Appeals, under existing “Design Standards for Special Developments.” Gutwald clarified on Friday that under the law, the location of the large projects on a particular parcel would be subject to Council approval, as is currently the case with Integrated Community Shopping Centers (ICSC).

The law could be a game-changer for big box stores in Harford County, not only because of the added ICSC requirements, but also because the Board of Appeals operates under general guidelines that allow it to reject projects, or apply certain conditions, based on its findings.

Notably, the section of the Harford County Zoning Code governing the Board of Appeals, and cited in the legislation, appears to allow for rejection of a proposed development if the Board finds it would create dangerous traffic conditions, or otherwise adversely affect public safety and welfare. Section 267-9 (Board of Appeals), subsection I entitled “Limitations, guidelines and standards” reads, in part:

“I. Limitations, guidelines and standards. In addition to the specific standards, guidelines and criteria described in this Part 1 and other relevant considerations, the Board shall be guided by the following general considerations. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this Part 1, the Board shall not approve an application if it finds that the proposed building, addition, extension of building or use, use or change of use would adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare or would result in dangerous traffic conditions or jeopardize the lives or property of people living in the neighborhood, Natural Resource District, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area or is protected by a permanent easement. The Board may impose conditions or limitations on any approval…”

If the County Council passes the bill introduced Tuesday, the Bel Air Wal-Mart proposal could avoid falling under its provisions, according to Gutwald, if the company’s site plan is approved by Planning and Zoning before the law takes effect. In that case, Gutwald said that the project would be grandfathered under existing law, which calls for approval by the Department after the company meets the requirements under the parcel’s “B3” business zoning designation.

Gutwald said that Planning and Zoning has been reviewing Wal-Mart’s proposal, but as of Friday the company’s submissions were incomplete and issues remained with some of the submitted plans. Specifically, he said that the county was awaiting traffic mitigation plans for certain intersections and the Forest Conservation Plan was unresolved. When asked whether he thought the company would be able to submit a complete and acceptable plan to his department in the approximately 90 days before the law might take effect, Gutwald said anything was possible but “It would be tough.”

In response to questions from The Dagger, Steven Restivo, Senior Director of Communications at Walmart, issued the following statement on Friday:

“While we are still determining if this action specifically impacts our Bel Air plans, we think legislation that sets up arbitrary hurdles for development and discriminates against business based solely on size is misplaced. Instead, we encourage the Harford County Council to evaluate policies that encourage job creation, spurs economic development and expands affordable shopping options for residents.”

Harford County Councilman James “Capt’n Jim” McMahan represents the Bel Air district and proposed the bill, which he said, in a written statement prior to the bill’s introduction, would not affect the property at Plumtree Rd. and MD 924 where the Wal-Mart store is proposed. Instead, he wrote that the bill would “preclude such outlandish development in the future at other sites.” In response to questions from The Dagger on Friday, McMahan declined to comment on the possible impact on Wal-Mart, but reiterated that his intent was to address safety and other issues related to future infill development.

Leading the community opposition to the Bel Air Wal-Mart is area resident Steve Tobia, who has held a number of roadside rallies, complete with red “No Bel Air Walmart” placards, near the Abingdon (Constant Friendship) Wal-Mart. His group is urging the company to expand at the Abingdon location rather than build in Bel Air and plans another such rally on April 6th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Although he said he didn’t know for sure what the impact would be on Wal-Mart, he said in reaction to the legislation, “Everybody is really happy.”

Below is a copy of Bill 13-16. A hearing is set for April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers located at 212 S. Bond Street in Bel Air.

Comments

  1. Patricia Cantler says

    People have also complained that the new Wal Mart will bring crime to the area, however, they may not realize that the Kohl’s has shop lifters being arrested at least 3 times per week but no one protested the building of the Festival of Bel Air. My concern is the displacement of the wildlife, we get so many complaints about wildlife and that they are out during the day, hmmmm wonder why since Harford County is allowing development on every square inch of wooded land we have. When is enough enough? I can’t wait to move out of this county!

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    • MacG says

      “Crime” is code for lower classes which is code for the Edgewood elemement.

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      • Concerned Teacher says

        I agree. When someone brings up the “criminal element”, that’s generally a bunch of upper middle class white folks who don’t want anyone but other upper middle class white folks in their backyard. As a distinctly lower-to-middle middle class white dude who grew up in Aberdeen and taught in the Rt 40 corridor, the closet racism that still exists in this county makes me nauseous.

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        • SEA says

          Crime aside, this legislation puts the decision to allow over-sized development back into the hands of the people, instead of with developers who are from out of state and have no vested interest in the community.

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          • Concerned Teacher says

            I disagree. It puts the decision back into the hands of the Council, the same group that created legislation that allowed legalized extortion of developers when it deemed that any housing development over a certain size was required to give land to the County to build a school. This law would do nothing to protect citizens rights. It would only serve to give the Council another way to extort something from project developers.

            This state is already one of the least business-friendly places in the country. Maybe if we drive everyone away we can go back to 1950 when the whole county was farmland.

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          • SEA says

            It is better that our own Harford County people, be they council members, make decisions about massive retail development instead of out-of-state developers who have no interest in how their oversized projects affect the lives of people in the community. Elected officials are called to be the voice of the people. We as citizens can’t vote on whether a huge super-store can develop a parcel, but if the council can, the people have a part in the decision. As it stands now, we have inadequate regulations (Planning and Zoning) to protect our county from extremely large retail development.

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        • Brian says

          Concerned Teacher you forgot to put a word or two in your description of the people fighting this. They are “want to be” upper middle class white folks. Most of them work harder at the image then anything thing else.

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    • Concerned Citizen says

      Hey Patricia, do you need some help packing your bags? How about some directions? I will be glad when people like you move out of this beautiful county into area like Baltimore City. See ya!

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      • Patricia Cantler says

        Really Concerned? I have lived in this county for almost my entire life and I have seen the massive changes this county has gone through. This is NO longer the beautiful county it was 30 years ago with the rolling farms all around you. This has become a mini city, the traffic in this county is horrendous to say the least. The destruction of every farm and every inch of woodland is disturbing to me as it should be to you. Move to the city? Not on your life! It disgusts me that new houses keep going up and new shopping malls/stores are going up when we have empty stores and houses that are boarded up and un-kept, live in your little fantasy world that this is still the beautiful county it used to be.

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        • Calico says

          Patricia – I so agree with you – I too have lived here most of my life and it is truly pathetic what has been done to this once beautiful county. I am not totally against progress but like you said this is absolutely ridiculous!!!!!!!!!! How many WALMART’s do you need in a 15 to 20 mile area? I applaud Steve Tobia for all his hard work. The proposal for another walmart to be built on 924 is disturbing on so many levels! It is again, that truly, the only reason for all of this insanity is the almighty “$” and your friendly “politics” – which both seem to dictate the life of humans and of course the almost forgotten wildlife that used to live in an abundant wooded area and pastures of beauty!! I did see the documentary on walmart and can only pray that some how their employee practices have greatly improved on all levels – it was a very disturbing show. I thank all of you that have worked so hard for the real betterment of Harford County!!! For those who have done it for political and financial gain – enjoy!!! God Bless!!

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          • Kharn says

            When I moved to Calvert County in ’96 due to BRAC, I saw the same attitudes as yours both there and in St Marys (where Pax River is located). Harford has already crossed the line of departure and there is no going back to the rolling farms of yesteryear. Harford has to both control and support its growth with road projects, increased commercial spaces, increased public works, etc, inside the development envelope.

            Calvert’s county council included one politician that owned the local hardware store, and he had enough political sway to stop any entry of Lowes, Home Depot, Target or Super Walmart (they had one old, small Walmart already) to the county to enhance his own profits, regardless of what it cost the residents. Whenever I needed drywall, 2x4s or plywood, I would have to drive 45 minutes to Charles County because his store did not carry lumber (and even if it did, I would not shop there, I bought only one $3 item from his store in the 8 years I lived there). The county council tried to keep the roads the same (fighting state efforts at every step), thinking that the workers flocking to the area would avoid their county due to the inadequate infrastructure and they could keep their rural atmosphere. They were wrong, the people came, and now they’re 15 years behind the curve on road construction, with the delays, traffic incidents, etc, to show for it.

            To ensure proper growth, you must be proactive in both controlling and fostering it, not just bury your head in the sand and ignore the issue.

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  2. says

    Over 80 communities have successfully fought Walmart, and kept them out. If you ever saw the documentary about Walmart and some of the things they do, you would never walk through the doors of that business.

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      • noble says

        Not even going to get into most of them, but here are my major complaints about Walmart:

        1. They routinely employ twice as many PT workers as would be needed if they just employed FT staff, so they don’t have to pay benefits (most retailers are guilty of this)
        2. Even their full time staff still qualify for the majority of government benefits programs, and would have to pay around 40-50% of their monthly income for rent/housing costs, which is unsustainable. (many larger retailers also guilty of this)
        3. More specifically to Walmart, they have gained such a large share of so many different markets that they routinely strong arm some of the largest companies in the world into providing products Walmart wants to sell, threatening or refusing to do business with companies who want to do otherwise, and generally hurting industry, innovation, and consumer choice. Companies like Sony are forced to give Walmart cheapened versions and model variations of other superior products. Make sure if you ever buy anything from Walmart that you are buying the EXACT same product offered at another store for more money.
        4. All of the above lead to my chief complaint about Walmart (and others) which is that they propagate a cheap, throw-away, bottom-dollar culture that prizes accumulating as much crap (literally) as we can.

        And I’ll note, as I have many times, that none of that has anything to do with why the proposal for their store at Plumtree is horrendous. That’s an entirely different issue.

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        • Brian says

          You have just included every big box store in your argument with one or more of these facts. So what makes Walmart worse than Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohls, or Sears. Under your argument all of them should be run out of Harford County. Damn look at that I just took care of ALL of Bel Air/Abingdons problems, but I also took the unemplyoment rate above 10%

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          • noble says

            Let’s ignore for a moment that I already accounted for your assertion couched within my statements, and point out that if you magically removed all those stores from the heavily populated areas of Harford County, the services they provide would surely be replaced by others.

            I imagine ACE and Courtland would love to have lines of people out their doors and start applying for lines of credit to build a bigger store.

            And I stated exactly what makes Walmart worse than the others, which is that they use their totally dominant position in multiple retail markets to demand certain products from companies and exclusive rights to products, which prevents competition, reduces consumer choices, and is generally frowned upon in a free market.

            Do you have any idea why Toys R Us sells way more baby stuff than toys now? It’s because Walmart demands exclusive products from manufacturers and if they don’t get it, they threaten not to sell any of their products. I’m talking about Fisher Price here, not tiny companies. They use this kind of pressure on companies throughout their product line which, as we all know, covers basically everything.

            And as I said before, none of that has anything to do with the fact that Walmart put together a pathetic traffic plan for their store, failed to account for some basic requirements that my untrained eye picked up on, that they tried to get by with a use designation for their store that was entirely disingenuous when compiling a traffic study (slanted toward them), they requested waivers on the number of parking spots for the size of the store, and that they paid no real attention to community input and suggestions for their plan even after asking for input.

            They could have a different plan, even in that terrible location, that might mean they had to buy more land to have traffic move differently, or have the proper number of parking spaces (that aren’t the size of pencils), but that would cost them more money.

            And for each of these things they choose not to do, to save money, to build a giant store full of crap at low low prices, we will all pay for later on with fender benders, sitting at lights wasting gas, dinged car doors, etc, etc.

            So I hope the .08 cents we save on toilet paper every week is worth it.

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          • Kharn says

            Noble,
            Waivers are a normal part of doing business in construction. If you think you can get away with a waiver and it would save you money or time, you go for it. If it doesn’t work out, oh well, you fix the plan to work around it. The waiver process exists and is available for anyone similarly situated, to harp on a company for trying to take advantage of it is disingenuous.

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          • Brian says

            No you didn’t state why they are worse. All the stores named DO THE SAME THING!!!!!!! You like most here just don’t personally like Walmart, that is the bottom line. One is no worse then the other. That’s why I hope they DO build this store, just to watch all of you either leave the county and then Walmart will follow you or walk right in with the rest of the people and still come on here and preach against them. I personally don’t think will go in that store much just because it will be a pain and that it is not near where I live. But I do shop at Walmart for things that I really don’t care about the quality so I can afford to pay more at better store for the things that I do need to be high quality. But to point out Walmart when all other major retailers follow the same model for business just shows how much you dislike them. If it was a Target I’m guessing you would be quiet.

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          • km says

            I do not WalMart in my backyard. I hope it never happens. Look at the WalMart in Abingdon – trashy.

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          • Harford Citizen says

            This is for nobel and the rest of Harford county. Never, I say Never skimp on toilet paper, always buy the best. Skimped paper does not stand up! You will be using more soap to clean beneath your nails!

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        • Sandy says

          Noble,
          I, too, saw the documentary and it was very one sided. My mother and my daughter both work for Wal Mart. My mom has been a cashier at the Abingdon store for a really long time, I’m guessing 8-10 years. She works because she wants to, not because she needs the money, my dad retired years ago. I think there is a connection…… but seriously, she loves it their. She has been offered many promotions and has turned them down because she doesn’t want to supervise and have the headaches that go with it. She gets bonuses every 3 months, in the thousands of dollars, she gets gifts often, small diamond necklaces, etc. And she works full time.

          My daughter works at the Fallston Wal Mart. They have tried to promote her a few times but she is a college student and just doesn’t have the availability and flexibility. She works part time. She is offered health insurance but doesn’t need it since she is on our policy, she can put money in a 501K and they match up to a small percent. I honestly can’t remember how much, maybe 25%. She gets vacation days, sick days, and an amazingly flexible schedule. If she has a few exams she can call and let them know and they are almost always fine with her taking off last minute. The best thing, when she has a tough semester, she is a chemical engineering student with a minor in biology and a minor in music performance, she can take a leave of absence for the semester and can go back to work after the semester is over. There aren’t many places who will do that! Since there are so many lawsuits, they are really crazy about breaks, no one can say they don’t get their breaks in either of these stores!

          Both make more than minimum wage and both are offered benefits. Not many places offer part time employees the kind of benefits my daughter gets. Honestly, I can’t really blame Wal Mart if they do hire mostly part time people because the most of the jobs there are more entry level type jobs. They are more suited to a college student than an adult raising a family. My daughter made more starting at Wal Mart than she would have at most of the stores in the mall or working fast food. Wal Mart takes a lot of heat for not paying their employees enough but that just isn’t true. How much should a cashier reasonably be paid? My mom makes more that $14 per hour and gets 5 bonuses (counting Christmas) each year. My daughter makes a little over $9 an hour stocking shelves and sometimes taking over as cashier. She gets the same bonuses, although less because they are a percentage of their salary.

          And I forgot to add that during every break, winter, summer, and Christmas, they let my daughter work full time hours, then cut back to part time when school starts again. Doesn’t sound a lot like what was on that documentary.

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          • noble says

            Sandy, please note I didn’t reference the documentary, and I usually don’t precisely because it, and all documentaries, have their own biases. I think it is good for people to watch so that they have information from a variety of sources, both supportive and critical of an issue. Accordingly, thanks for your post.

            However, I also have detailed first-hand knowledge of the personal experiences of many people who have been employed at Walmart in varying capacities over time, and most of their experiences are not like those of your family.

            Now some of that is easily attributable to local store management. Some people are going to do right by their employees the best they can. Some won’t. I think there’s a preponderance of evidence that on the whole, most have not.

            That said, in the last 5 years especially, I think WM has made a lot of improvements in this area, but there is still a lot more they could do– as well as others and other industries even.

            But as I said above, how well or not well they treat their employees doesn’t have anything to do with the suitability of the Plumtree location, the glaring deficiencies in their plans, or their complete disregard for community input.

            I was asked specifically what problems I see with WM, I gave my answers, unrelated to this development. And their anti-competitive industry practices also have nothing to do with their treatment of employees.

            Target is very similar to WM, more than most people would like to admit. They actually have slightly lower prices at times, and pay and treat their employees comparably to WM. And as I have made clear before, I don’t care who it is, if they were trying to build a 186,000 sq ft store with that plan in that location, I would be opposed to it.

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  3. hank says

    So it was OK to rip down every tree to make way for the Boulevard? The Walmart in Abingdon is close to homes and so is the Wegmans. But I guess it’s in Abingdon so that’s OK? I keep thinking that if Wegmans, which they originally designated that zoning there for on Plumtree, had decided to go there, it would be an entirely different discussion. I am not a Walmart fan, but the hypocrisy of the government officials is astounding.

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    • Hank says

      Not really, but at least that involved a store that didn’t already have 3 locations in the county…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5
      • a different view says

        Your point about the number of stores is irrelevant.

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        • Hank says

          CDev, where do you live? Maybe we can go have Walmart plop a Super Walmart across the street from your neighborhood in one of the most congested areas of the county since you seem to think this is a good idea.

          Have you ever actually tried driving through that area on a regular basis during normal business? It’s horrendous now and it’ll be significantly worse if the Walmart is actually built there regardless of how they alter traffic patterns, etc.

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          • Cdev says

            It is also not Wal-marts fault it is horrendous and their job is not to fix someone elses problem. Did you read the zoning signs or did you ignore them. You should of spoke up then!

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    • noble says

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I would have been opposed to Wegman’s plan if it had sucked, which Walmart’s does. The Boulevard is not perfect either, but it’s a far more appropriate location and design. Which is why Wegman’s chose that spot. Because they are a company with a soul.

      Wegmans offers very good benefits even to their part-time employees and has been recognized as one of the top employers to work for. Walmart? Yeah, Google that and see how you do. On aesthetics alone I’d rather have Wegmans anywhere instead of a Walmart because they are better in the community.

      Unfortunately, I’m not a king.

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      • The Money Tree says

        Correct again Noble – Wegmans has repeatedly been honored as one of the best employers in the nation – both wages and benefits and internal opportunities for growth exceed most other businesses – Walmart is quite the opposite. Again, agreed that’s not the point. It’s about ease of ingress/egress and the appropriateness of the size of the store. It makes sense to locate big retail along the 95 corridor – it has nothing to do with Abingdon vs. Belair or Fallston as a more monied demographic but proximity to 95 – nothing more and nothing less.

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      • Harford Citizen says

        If every business had a so called soul they would build their store out in East Bumf$#k where no lives but farmers. They would eat up all the farm land that produces the food that you and I consume. But more so they would go belly up because who is going to go from Abingdon to Bushes Corner(if you even know where that is) to grocery shop only to have the frozen foods thawed by the time you get home. No business has soul dude, they have greenbacks on their mind and nothing else!

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    • The Money Tree says

      I too was saddened when they bulldozed all those trees. Sad to watch hundreds of mature oaks and maples destroyed like that regardless of why it was done.

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        • The Money Tree says

          I know but it can be almost heartbreaking to watch regardless. It’s not the same as cutting down a tree to open up a field for grazing or planting corn, but to cover an entire area with asphalt and concrete blocks – indeed perhaps I’m too emotional about open space but it nearly makes me ill to watch. The glory of a mature oak tree – the massive permanence and history. All of that lost for a parking lot.

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        • hank says

          But isn’t the Plumtree lot in the development envelope too? There are other places that develop land and require businesses to keep some of the natural area around it. Is there a reason that ALL those trees had to go on Box Hill?

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          • noble says

            Yes Plumtree is within the envelope, and protecting the open space in that lot is not an argument I make, nor support when it is made. It’s fruitless.

            To be honest with you hank, I’m not quite sure why developers feel the need to tear down virtually every pre-existing tree on a plot of land, only to plant more grass and tiny stick trees in their place. Seems like a waste of money and good trees to me, but I’m sure there is some kind of cost savings involved.

            I would like to see a requirement that existing green space is worked into development plans. As a matter of fact, the Medstar facility site plan at Plumtree actually does a very good job of using/preserving the existing green space.

            In fact, Walmart’s site plan, rather disappointing as it is, does call for a small strip of green space along Plumtree Road that currently exists to act as a buffer along the back of the store. I was surprised to see it included in the original plan and they deserve some credit for that. But it is very thin, and the primary reason they are probably leaving it untouched is that they need those trees to help with the reforestation plan they have to come up with– which as noted is already not sufficient, and I think they asked for a waiver on that too.

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          • The Money Tree says

            There ought to be additional consideration taken for the destruction of native oaks. We ought to treat them as the treasures they are – it can take 200 years for a white oak to reach maturity; that’s to flower and produce acorns. They are extraordinarily long lived at anywhere from 600 + years. To mow them all down and replace them with those same lollipop pear trees – so hideous it’s hard to fathom.

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    • Kharn says

      If Walmart abandons their project due to community drama, I really hope Kmart buys the land and builds there.

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      • noble says

        Totally fine by me so long as it’s not a 186 sq foot Kmart crammed into the same plot of land by use of a pathetically deficient traffic and site plan.

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      • The Money Tree says

        Per proposed guidelines as announced – if under 75,000 sq. ft. the structure would not have any additional county council scrutiny, however if it exceeds that size it may be subject to final council approval. Pretty sure we’ve all acknowledge Plumtree will become offices or stores regardless. The common concern here has always been the wisdom of putting a megastore in that location.

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  4. Steve Jacobs says

    What a bunch of boner brains. Besides local, state and federal jobs (and private companies whose sole customers are govt), Walmart is probably one of the biggest employers in Harford County.

    Herp, derp…..

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    • Because says

      What good is a big employer if their wages force their employees to use government subsidies to exist?

      Glad you like to shop there. Thanks for your individual contribution to the welfare state.

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  5. a different view says

    Remember several years ago when Annapolis passed the so called “Walmart Bill” that was eventually overturned in court? This legislation if passed will suffer the same fate.

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    • BelairBob says

      Walmart should sue the county council personally for their moronic behavior. Perhaps instead of a walmart in south belair they could build it on the sprawling Boniface estate…

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      • The Money Tree says

        The county council is responding to the overwhelming demand that something be done to correct an obvious mistake. It is thier job to represent the citizens of Harford – they are not there to defend or pave the way for Walmart. I have to assume thier actions were not taken lightly – that it was discussed at some length with the county attorney’s to ensure we/they were within their rights. I commend them for making an effort before rather than after because there’s no turning back once they’ve started building. Be careful Bob – your bitterness is showing.

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        • BelairBob says

          Not bitter, the council is changing the rules they made after the fact. If it’s so important that they decide on what is appropriate for the county why cut it off at 75,000 square feet? Let them approve every commercial building. God forbid someone builds another cheezy looking restaurant in harford county….

          And if a hundred people standing on the curb waving signs and chanting like the westboro baptist church represents the citizens of this county I can assure you are as mistaken as the county council.

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  6. The Money Tree says

    Thanks Joe Wood and the rest of the council who grew a pair and realized that there are indeed differing impacts from one commercial/retail project to another. Not all commercial development is created equal – traffic impacts and proximity to established neighborhoods and the impacts on their lives of folks living in the area matters. I hope we can stop the Walmart and welcome more appropriate development. Yes, Walmart does bring jobs – but since the intent is to shut down one to build another we’re talking about net zero, or net next to zero so job creation is a nonstarter as an argument for.

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      • The Money Tree says

        Don’t live over there or shop over there – maybe twice at the kitchen store, but really isn’t the entire thing about not wanting something in your backyard. Isn’t it human nature to care more about what goes on next door than in the next town? I thought the definition of Nimby was more akin to as an example being a fervent supporter of alternate energy but whining when a wind farm is built next door – kinda like the Kennedy’s and Hyannis Port a couple years ago. Not sure anybody here is demanding more Walmarts and then upset it’s being built in the neighborhood. I think maybe you need to rethink your personal definition of NIMBY because factually and logically it doesn’t apply.

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        • a different view says

          Not in my back yard. That is your goal. Play with definitions all you want but the statement clearly applies to you.

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          • BelairBob says

            Classic NIMBY , wal mart is ok in abingdon but not ok on plumbtree.

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          • The Money Tree says

            The Walmart in Fallston is much closer to my house – I didn’t complain. Why? Because I’m concerned with putting Walmart in an ill-advised location where it’s proximity is bound to interfere with the existing small businesses in the area not to mention the quality of life for the immediate neighborhood. Sorry – you lose.

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          • Cdev says

            It is not the governments job to protect small buisness from big buisness.

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          • The Money Tree says

            Cdev – doubt the council got involved because they dislike the way Walmart does business. That’s my personal peeve. I’m sure they’ve narrowed the concern to what is legally supportable – something like traffic and safety concerns, perhaps environmental concerns due to runoff, etc.

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          • Cdev says

            I am sure that is what they will say but if this was Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods there would be absolutely NO complaint coming from anyone and the COuncil would not have gotten involved. Besdie the council could have stopped this when they re zoned it B-3. This is why they will lose in court if they try to use this to stop Wal-Mart.

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          • BelairBob says

            Harford county will never see a traders Joes or Whole foods, it doesn’t fit into their demographics. That’s why we are seeing walmart wanting to get larger.

            Heck just ask the cashiers at Wegmans if the store is ever really busy and they will tell you that would be the days when the WIC cards are refilled. Wegmans made a serious mistake in research when they came to town.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
          • Mike Welsh says

            Bob, I don’t have a WIC card, but Wegmans has been busy each and every time I have been there, and I go often. I have friends from Baltimore County and southern York County that also shop at Wegmans.

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      • BelairBob says

        If you had ever shopped a busy Wegmans you would realize the Bel Air store is DOA.

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        • Mike Welsh says

          I have shopped the one in Hunt Vally before and they are about the same for shopper traffic each time I have been there. Perhaps Wegmans has erred in both cases and I just don’t know it. Both seemed very busy to me. Thankfully, I have not had to shop a Wegmans that you describe as busy. What a mess that would be.

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          • BelairBob says

            From inside sources Hunt Valley does 4 times the business of Abingdon. When do you typically shop 7 AM and 10PM?

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          • Mike Welsh says

            Mid Afternoon. I could really care less how much business Wegmans does. I like the store, I shop there as well as other stores, and my shopping experience has always been satisfactory when I have shopped there. If it closed tomorrow I would be disappointed, but my world wouldn’t end. I also shop at Wal Mart from time to time, and I don’t have a WIC card.

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      • The Money Tree says

        Pretty sure you’re going to lose this one Bob – and somehow I’m thinking that’s what ticks you off more than anything to do with the Walmart.

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      • noble says

        Walmart estimates that a Supercenter would create an additional 100 jobs. This is true. It is not a fact, however, because it hasn’t happened yet. A Supercenter would definitely employ more people than the store in CF, there’s no argument about that.

        The construction jobs are a non-factor because, as people are so fond of pointing out, something else would be built there no matter what.

        And of those 100 jobs, I think it’s pretty safe to say a good 50-75 of them will be part time or low wage, and unless they are already living with mommy and daddy, those workers will be getting benefits from the government.

        The government that has no money for benefits programs.

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        • BelairBob says

          Thanks for confirming they will be adding jobs. MT has an issue with factual information.

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          • The Money Tree says

            We won’t discuss the number of jobs lost as Walmart makes thier inevitable and expected strategy to crush the competing small businesses in the area – those would be the jobs that actually support families.

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          • Cdev says

            Don’t those current small buisness compete with Wal-Mart and Target already? Hell Target has two stores in the area!

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          • The Money Tree says

            They do but in each case they located within an area already designed for big box retail, thus traffic concerns and immediate proximity to neighborhoods is limited. If Walmart had chosen long ago to move to the current Target location across from the mall doubt there’d be any way to support a restriction – I doubt you’d have heard much complaining except for from the few folks who just dislike Walmart like me. Walmart missed the boat and picked too early and lost thier chance to find a large enough lot with the proper existing infrastruture closer to town.

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          • BelairBob says

            “I doubt you’d have heard much complaining except for from the few folks who just dislike Walmart like me”

            And there you have it. Thanks for finally admitting your true agenda.

            NIMBY confirmed.

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          • Fed up says

            CDEV – nobody “competes” with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart outsells the next 3-5 top selling stores combined. And outsells is an understatement – they bury the competition. Go check out their “competitor’s” parking lots wherever they are nearby a Wal-Mart. Let’s just say they won’t need to repair those lots from overuse anytime soon.

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        • Kharn says

          Walmart part-time work is not supposed to be a career. Those kind of jobs are supposed to be for high school and college kids, and seniors looking for a little extra money. If you’re 35 years old with two kids, and working part time at Walmart is your only possible gainful employment, you’ve done something wrong with your life.

          That doesn’t make it wrong for Walmart to hire you or to pay you what your unskilled labor is worth.

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          • noble says

            “If you’re 35 years old with two kids, and working part time at Walmart is your only possible gainful employment, you’ve done something wrong with your life.”

            Clearly. But this is incredibly callous.

            Lots of people make mistakes in their lives, some worse than others, and I feel strongly we have to take responsibility for those mistakes and deal the best we can with the consequences.

            So if their job doesn’t pay for the basic necessities of life, what do you recommend they do? I’d love to hear all your solutions to other people’s problems that you apparently don’t have.

            Are you going to say this to the widow who used to be a stay at home mom before her husband died? You really think need to think harder before you finish typing.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
          • The Money Tree says

            My father always told me that all work was noble – never to be ashamed or look down upon anyone for what they do for a living as but for the grace of god go I. My father was a kind and decent man.

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          • Fed up says

            “Callous?” No – it’s reality. Our government is making the lowest skill work into full-time employment. Talk about lowering the bar?? So you think people should be bringing in $45K a year to flip burgers at McDonald’s? And where do you go from there – to the salad bar? Kharn was right – you stay in school, you keep a level of motivation and you will go places. Strive for a challenge and education and you will not be trying to convert a boring, unchallenging part time job into a pseudo-career.

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  7. Luther Lingus says

    hasta la vista shitmart

    better luck opening in Joppatowne where they could actually use it

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9
  8. Jaguar Judy says

    Kharn,

    Let’s make all of those people on welfare actually get a job and stop living off the taxpayers. Then let’s criticize them because they take the best job they can find but can’t make enough given their skill set to actually support their family. What’s next?

    I believe the welfare system is actually encouraging people to be irresponsible and that it has become a way of life for a good number of people. No question there. But I would like to encourage people who are trying to keep trying and to get better not slap them in the face because the best they can do right now is Walmart. Or K-Mart. Or WaWa. Or Royal Farms. Or MacDonalds. And on and on and on.

    Kharn, that was a little cold don’t you think?

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    • Kharn says

      The bigger issue is that some politicians and rabblerousers believe one part-time McJob should let you feed, clothe and house a family of four.

      Well-loved. Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
      • noble says

        Maybe some. But not most.

        MOST advocates think that if you work a full time job, you should get benefits, and that you should make enough money to live on your own, at least semi autonomously, able to pay the going rates to rent a reasonable place to live.

        The facts are we don’t live in that world for a lot of people. People are working full time (either 1 full time or 2 part times), with no medical insurance and it takes 40-50% of their income to pay the rent alone.

        You can blame that on the employers sure, and you can blame that on their mommies and daddies, the government, and on them, but none of the blaming changes the facts.

        If we don’t figure out a reasonable way for people to live, we’re going to have problems.

        Too many people go around talking about how we need to preserve the family, and kids need more parenting, and everyone has to be responsible for their own lives, yet we also expect them to go out and work 50 hours a week, and go to school, and take care of the kids, and be excellent parents, and excellent students, and excellent workers, and do all of this with not much sleep, crushing debts (mostly medical bills), and with little money which causes all sorts of problems in marriages and households. Are there people who can do all that? Sure there are, and it’s an incredible thing they do. But it’s extremely disrespectful to put down those who can’t, for whatever reason (aside from just being failures).

        Of course there is always disparity in our society, that’s built into the fabric of the way of life we have all signed onto, and of course there are always going to be people who no matter what you do just won’t ever make it anywhere.

        Look I’m not some commy liberal freak, quite the opposite. When I hear people talk about ending homelessness, or ending poverty, I’m laughing at the very idea.

        But we need more fingers pointing to solutions to our problems instead of who to blame for them.

        Economic disparity IS the American way, but in the last 20 years the disparity has become too great to be beneficial, and we have a whole slice of people who expect things to be handed over to them, and that mindset is not attached to income level, trust me.

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  9. Mom23 says

    Let’s be real here. WalMart blows. If there’s anyone here who would honestly say they’d rather their home be adjacent to or even near a Walmart rather than a Wegmans/Trader Joe’s/Whatever, they’re lying about their honesty. It’s a crap store, period.

    For those who this proposed plan could negatively impact, don’t quit making noise about it, and don’t assume the county has your back. We were told that, too. We were assured that our water/sewer bond we pay annually would go down drastically once the Fallston WalMart came to town. It didn’t. That gigantic place probably uses more from the public water and sewer system than our entire development here, yet individual families foot the bill to the tune of thousands per home each year.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
  10. How About Dis SHIZNIT says

    I don’t understand the faux comments about how Wal Mart will bring nothing but negativity.

    Seems to me there is a Wal Mart directly across a very expensive private school in Baltimore County, like literally, right across the street. The educational value hasn’t decreased, and fo’sho the big daddy monetary exchanges to get in that bitch haven’t either.

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  11. watcher says

    for those who live near where thos is going up: I said the same thing about your development when it went up. The people who watched with dismay as that area was turned into housing are laughing at you as you whine about development now. How you like karma?

    Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
    • i was herw first says

      Amen!

      It’s good there but not here! NIMBY ALERT WOOP WOOP WOOP

      It’s all about me!!! Wahhhhh!!!!!!!!

      If wal mart doesn’t build,.I hope a trailer park, or a flying j truckstop builds there.

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

      Love how one of the nimbys neg repped me, but has not the sand to comment. Cowards all. Maybe they will all move back to Jersey.

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

          Sure thing “Hank”. Maybe you can find some “real men” back in Jersey. I mean if that’s what you’re into. You definitely out tough me in electrons. Good job.

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  12. Harford Citizen says

    I think this whole Walmart thing is absolute Bullshit!. If the so called concerned citizens were truly concerned they would have been very active during the rezoning of the land. But I guess they didn’t feel that was too important. That parcel of land between Plumtree Rd, Md. Rt 924, Bel Air South Parkway and Md. Rt 24 is nothing but commercial property and new storage units are being built there with hassles. I do not feel that if Walmart meets the existing rules/zoning requirements in place today then they should be good to build what ever they want that meets those codes. Apparently there was no size limits. You cannot pass new codes to zero out one particular Company and alter the existing codes. That is selective enforcement. I didn’t hear one opposition to the new MedStar Health Building that would actually be in the back yards of Royal Oaks. Walmart would not border a single residential unit, NOT ONE! Progress goes on and as long as it does and we build something on every single piece of land with a blade of grass or a tree on it, sooner or later residential and commercial will have to be side by side. Also remember this, back in the 1970′s Harford Countians probably didn’t want Royal Oaks, Bel Air South, Country Walk, Box Hill or any other housing developments along Rt 24, at that time, but the masses moved in anyway much to the disliking of the natives. The only real solution to this problem is for Harford County to stop developing new land, redevelop what is in existence and run down and are eyesores to the county. Until that happens Commercial/Residential will have to coexist until every square inch of land is built upon and then it will be survival of the fittest. Im getting ready to have a very large residential neighborhood built real close to mine, I don’t like it but I took an active roll in helping to decide what the lot sizes would be so we didn’t get any row houses down here. Another thing you all don’t bitch about is the amount of rowhouses that are being built which are the first units to turn into slums. Drive around sometime and look at all the future low income/slums that will be here before to long. Please build this Walmart or if I was walmart I vacate Harford County all together and leave my empty buildings to rot away.

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    • noble says

      You raise a lot of points, some of which I agree, and some I disagree. I’m going to just focus on the Medstar comment.

      There are several significant differences between Walmart/Medstar:
      1. Walmart: 10,000 cars/trips per day, Medstar 500-700 per day (MAYBE 1,000 tops)
      In terms of traffic impact, there is absolutely no comparison.
      2. Walmart employment is mostly part-time and/or low wage without benefits. Medstar employment is much higher pay on average, mostly full-time, and mostly with benefits. From a purely “what’s good for our community” view, there’s no comparison here either. It’s not even close.
      3. Medstar’s plan includes utilizing an existing protected green space to incorporate green space into their plan, as well as provide a buffer to the neighborhood on the rear. The building itself stands between this space and the parking lot (much smaller lot and light system than Walmart as well), and combined with the green space should provide a pretty significant light buffer– not to mention the lot lights will be down-facing (same lighting design as Walmart).
      4. The Walmart may be open 24 hours, raising concern of some issues existing for all 24 hours. The Medstar facility will be open about 12 hours a day, and basic business hours.

      And even if you want to put aside those very real and significant differences, you have to deal in reality, and life within the development envelope means you have to pick your battles. Trying to fight the Medstar facility, given the above, is a rather poor decision. Something is going to get built there, and of all the possibilities, that’s a pretty good one.

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      • Harford Citizen says

        Walmart, 10,000 car trips per day? I find that as a little beefed up figure. How many cars travel through the RT 24/Bel Air South Parkway intersection each day? I want actual figures which means a traffic counter laying across rt 24 to actually count the cars. On a whim lets say that 14,500 travel that rd each day. You can be rest assured that some, if not most of the beefed up 10,000 would be part of that 14,500 either stopping going to work or coming home. So its no more additional cars. But I would need the true statistics and some SWAG from college educated, inexperienced people. As for employment, part time or full time is employment! Period. Its happening everywhere, Im part time right now. The fact of the matter is that if a person could only get part work, and not enough to totally support his/her family, the general public probably wouldn’t mind giving someone like that assistance since they are really trying. I hate giving the handouts to those who don’t do jack shit but squeeze out kids for an extra $100 or so in their welfare. You know the life long do nothing recipients of it. That’s what pisses people off. If part time is all you can get right now then the tax payer probably would say by all means help this person out, they willl eventually improve themselves and if they cant they are making an honest attempt to do so.
        I hate to say this but sooner or later wages are going to have to drop if people want the keep all the benefits they feel they are owed. Everything cannot spiral upward. Once wages level off or even go down the cost of products will have to come down, it wont cost some union guy $45.00 per hour screw lug nuts on a piece of shit car he is building. Ill bet there are many high school and college kids that would do that job for $10-15 per hour if they got health benefits and a 401K. I’m sorry but I just won’t buy into the “Walmart is detrimental” to the area. Many of the kids going to school will have jobs close to home. Lets look at the big picture and just not the frame around Plumtree.

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        • noble says

          The figures are given by Walmart themselves based on their own traffic study made available to the public 8 months ago. Look it up if you don’t want to believe me. I’ve read the traffic study they did, have you?

          I don’t recall the exact figures off the top of my head, but it’s somewhere between 30-45k cars per day that travel through Bel Air South on Route 24 each day, which means a derivative smaller number travel on the adjoining roads, such as Plumtree, BAS Parkway, and 924. I think that figure is in the range of 10-15k for most of those roads.

          All of this information is available to the public from SHA and Planning and Zoning, and I spent my time looking it up, so if you don’t believe me you are welcome to do so yourself.

          *Note: the reason I stated 10k “cars/trips” is because it is not exactly 10k “cars” but rather “trips”, and in some cases 1 “car” generates 2 “trips”. The reason traffic studies use “trips” is because traffic systems don’t car whether 1 car goes in or out, it only cares about the “trip” or unit a car makes and the impact it has on the system. The Medstar study, as well as all others, use the same conventions. So as I said, no matter how you want to cut it, there is absolutely no comparing the two.

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          • Cdev says

            It is also up to 10K trips meaning some days it will be significantly less and never more than. Most likely these days would be the weekend. It would also help if people stopped using 924 as their route from Wegman’s to their house in Bel Air and actually used 24!

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          • Harford Citizen says

            Just how many trips per day go into the Festival???? Real numbers please.

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          • noble says

            How about you do some of your own real research if you want to make a point? I’m not your intern. Find out who the Festival management is and call them yourself– there’s a freebie. Or maybe look up how many sq feet of store space the Festival has and judge for yourself?

            i already provided some numbers for the area I had off the top of my head from my own research which were supported by a link from another poster. Your welcome.

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        • Pavel314 says

          There’s a Maryland traffic volume map by county at:

          http://www.marylandroads.com/Traffic_Volume_Maps/Traffic_Volume_Maps.pdf

          Page 22 is the Aberdeen and Bel Air section. Daily volume on Rte. 24 just north of I-95 shows 72,060. Further up the road, near the proposed Wal Mart site, they show 38,232 on Rte. 24 and 18,570 on Rte. 924, or 56,802. Looks like about 15,000 went down Singer or Tollgate.

          Hope this helps your calculations. I agree with you that 10,000 daily Wal Mart visits seems a bit high. If you do the math from

          http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart-company-statistics/

          you get an average of 3,359 visits per store per day.

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          • noble says

            statisticbrain, very cool site, thanks for that.

            As I said, it’s more a computation of trips, rather than cars, so even by that rough calculation, not using the detailed calculations in their traffic study, you’d still get at least 7,000 per day assuming each car comes and goes at least once.

            Walmart officials contributed to this confusion by stating the exact words “up to 10,000 cars a day”, which means one thing to a traffic engineer, and something else to the people who live next door.

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          • Cdev says

            Noble if you are going to oppose it you should learn the approriate lingo. The confusion I would say was started by the people who did not actyually learn what these terms mean and simply are looking for a reason to get ride of an undesirable buisness.

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          • noble says

            Cdev, I agree. There are people who are opposed to the Walmart who would never say anything but “10,000 cars a day!”, despite the fact that it is misleading. I am not one of those people, as I tried to thoroughly explain above.

            But I was at the meeting and watched the Walmart official open his mouth and say the words “Up to 10,000 *CARS* a day”. He handed the opposition that terminology.

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          • Harford Citizen says

            Nobel I will not because I don’t give a shit if walmart goes in or not! I hope it does just to shut you whinny people up!

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      • Cdev says

        My wifes doctor said the Med Star facility will include some many satilite offices from GBMC. Complimenting and adding to what is already at the site.

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        • noble says

          I am not sure I understand what you’re saying here.

          But go look at the site plan. There is a phase one building, a protected green space, and a parking lot. There’s also a noted space for a smaller possible second building sometime in the future. After that there is no other available space on that site for anything else.

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    • Kharn says

      During rezoning the locals assumed Bass Pro or Cabelas was coming, and never considered a traditional big-box. The joke is on them.

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      • realist says

        The truth is very plain to see. While some want to hide behind the false curtain that says it’s about the size of the retail outlet they have are exposed that their real issue is they don’t want a WalMart at that location. NIMBY!

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        • noble says

          This is super easy for you to say with no way to back it up. There are NIMBY’s, of course there are, because there are NIMBY’s for everything that happens anywhere.

          But it is not as simple as you want to make it, because there are plenty of people who do not live near there who don’t support the Plumtree plan for varying reasons. I live closer to the current store location and I would personally be happy to see it go, but I don’t support the relocation because I feel it’s not overall in the best interests of the larger community. There are plenty of others who don’t live across the street from Plumtree who think it’s a bad idea. It’s not entirely simple NIMBY.

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      • noble says

        Totally agreed. The community dropped the ball in the beginning and is playing catch up. They either assumed, or were lead to believe (some have said) that the zoning didn’t allow for that type of development. This should be a warning clarion call for all communities to pay more attention to what is going on.

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    • Brian says

      Bravo!!! I think you just spoke for every citizen of Harford County that has roots here that trace back farther then 10-20 years. Build it! Then maybe Walmart will drive the transplants back to where they came from. We can only hope!

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  13. Bill says

    This is a bad location for any big box retailer, the reason Wal-Mart is being vilified is because they’re the ones trying to develop on this land. If the retailer were Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, or any other retailer I would still not want it there. Of course the people who live nearby don’t want it there, traffic is already horrendous without the congestion this is going to bring. Let Wal-Mart submit another plan, I’m sure they have their lawyers already on this.

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    • noble says

      In fact they have already submitted a second plan, which was also rejected as deficient. They are currently working to make corrections.

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      • Bill says

        Thanks for the update. I’m sure Wal-Mart has more attorneys than just about any company in the US. This is nothing new for them I’m sure.

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      • The Money Tree says

        Home Depot’s primary ingress/egress is an intersection of 24 (a multi-lane thoroughfare)and Target has access from both 24 and alternate access from Rte 1 (another multi-lane thoroughfare) . In neither case does the primary drive empty or exit into a neighborhood. The proposed Walmart has primary access on a two lane road (one lane each direction) and right into a neighborhood.

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        • Cdev says

          Both dump into arteries whcih connect to 24 similar to what Wal-Mart wants to do. In fact Wall-mart wants multiple different arteries. Where would Wal-Mart dump cars into a neighborhood? As opposed to Gabriel Brothers which actually does!

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          • The Money Tree says

            Both the Home Depot and Target locations are located in a heavy traffic area with easy access to both 24 and Rte 1 – both roads designed to allow for commercial traffic capacity. It really couldn’t be more night and day. You can’t compare Emmorton Rd. to 24 or Rte. 1 because there’s no comparison.

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          • noble says

            Look at the site plan.

            They propose putting another light in at bright oaks, with turn lanes, and there is a direct entrance into the Bright Oaks neighborhood straight out of the “main” (cited by Walmart) entrance and exit to the store. There’s your traffic being dumped into a neighborhood.

            Separate issue: The installation of that light, the access to 924, is one of the major problems with their traffic plan. There are going to be too many lights too close together. If they reconfigured the site plan, and possibly acquired more land from the land owner, they could come up with something else that would help the flow of traffic more.

            Boulevard at Box Hill is very similar, they were not given permission to put a signal in between Woodsdale and Box Hill because it was too close together and SHA didn’t want another access, so they have a right turn only. They were forced to use the already existing signals and roads.

            It was suggested to Walmart to use a right in/right out at Bright Oaks Drive and they ignored it.

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        • BelairBob says

          Actually depot access is a 2 lane road called marketplace drive which goes on one end to 24 and the other a residential neighborhood. Which also provides access to HH Gregg, toys r us and a bunch of other stores, and on the other side of 24 it is the access rd for Target

          Do you even live in Harford county or just one of the “few” ( your word)that go around hating walmart?

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  14. Harford Citizen says

    I would like to to conclude with this, if I may. Hopefully all of the people in Harford County have learned a very valuable lesson here. The lesson learned should have been if you sit back on your laurels and don’t really become active in your community you will certainly lose, like you are going to lose with Walmart. Read the “weekly wiper”(AEGIS) read all of those Hearing Notice Signs that pop up and go to the meeting right from the onset. Because if you wait to start attending the third or fourth meeting, things are well on the way and hard to stop because there has been no opposition. Another thing we must learn is that commercial and residential must coexist. There is only so much earth to build on and they aren’t making any more it. What we have is all we have. If all the City dwellers moved to country(Harford) to get away, guess what? So is the commercial part too. If you dont like all these Oaks that were pushed over, I think the Arborday Society will give you ten seedlings if you join and many oaks are rather fast growing. Plant on of them fu$#ers in your front yard! I truly am a firm believer that if a neighborhood goes section eight/low income/gang infested, then by all means the county, with the approval of the people should destroy it and rebuild. But we must start rebuilding with at least modest sized single family homes and let the row homes go by the wayside. Because eventually they all will become the section eight/low income/gang infested neighborhoods that noone wants near any more than walamrt. Progress is a good thing if it is done smartly.

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    • The Money Tree says

      With all due respect – the fastest growing oak is a Pin Oak and it grows at a mere 2 ft. per year for the 1st ten years or so and thereafter growth slows to closer to a foot. A mature tree will measure out to 70 ft. That means the fastest growing oak takes about 60 years to mature. Get your facts straight please. I don’t mind the various pros and cons but you shouldn’t just make up stuff to make it seem less aggregious to cut down native hardwoods.

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      • Harford Citizen says

        Did the original planters of the trees are whining about ever get to see them at full mature height? I think not!

        Species

        Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension service maintains that the growth rate of an oak tree is dependent on the species. Varieties like the pin oak will grow with approximately 18 inches per year, eventually achieving a height of 60- to 70-feet tall and 25- to 40-feet wide.
        Types

        The white oak grows between 10 and 15 feet in the course of 10 to 12 years to a mature height of somewhere between 50 and 100 feet. The water oak shoots up more quickly, growing to a height of 25 feet within a decade and an eventual, mature height of 50 feet within 20 years.
        Time Frame

        The willow oak grows 25 feet in 12 years and the Southern red oak accumulates a height of 25 feet in 20 years. An attraction of oak is its ability to grow within a reasonable period of time.

        Read more: Growth Rate of Oak Trees | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7790849_growth-rate-oak-trees.html#ixzz2Og8i816y

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        • The Money Tree says

          I normally don’t use ehow to derive my information and since we’re talking about Pin, White and Red (those are the Oak trees native to this area) not sure how the water oak fits in here since it’s a southern tree and NOT native to this area. Nice try though.

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          • BelairBob says

            Money tree is know arguing the growth rates of trees. You have some serious issues, maybe your employer should , for you own good take away your internet privileges while you should be working.

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  15. Lin says

    Walmart – what a waste of that space.

    We need a large olympic style swim complex instead. Better thin that fat, ya know?

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  16. what happens? says

    Man, all this putter pitter patter over a damn store.

    If I had new jersey plates on my car, I would be more worried about if I still have a job next month, you know all that budget, spending, etc that’s been on the news the past few months.

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