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Walmart Move to Bel Air Has Not Progressed

The discount superstore's officials have yet to submit a traffic study, according to a county official.

Prices may not be the only thing Walmart is rolling back in Harford County.

The discount superstore has yet to take the next step to potentially move its Abingdon store to the Maryland Route 924 and Plumtree Road intersection.

Harford County Director of Planning and Zoning Pete Gutwald told Patch that Walmart officials have not submitted a traffic study and have not scheduled a public hearing. The latter step would be required to “allow the community to hear what it is they’re doing, what their game plan is,” Gutwald told Patch on Friday.

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Residents along the Route 924 corridor have held their own community meetings and have expressed opposition to. Gutwald and council members maintain that the move is not final, but the targeted land is zoned for commercial entities such as Walmart.

The parcel in question, though, has not been sold to the company, according to Gutwald.

“I’ve heard rumors that they bought the property but I looked it up for somebody [and] based on the data I have it has not been sold,” Gutwald told Patch. “State assessments would be the first [office] to know that.”

The planning and zoning director said Walmart officials have only taken the first step of the relocation process with the county.

“The only thing they did was they came in and had a scoping meeting to determine the parameters of what we would require for a traffic study,” he said.

Gutwald said Walmart officials are taking longer than normal to submit a traffic study, but that doesn’t mean they changed their minds.

“It varies for different types of projects. For a typical project, yeah, this is probably a little bit longer than normal,” he said. “But for someone who’s just in investigative mode, not really. … The traffic counts are good for a year.”

The reason for the proposed move is a restriction on selling a full line of groceries at Walmart's Constant Friendship Boulevard location, Gutwald said. A land deal that expires in 2018 restricts businesses in the area from selling groceries, meaning Walmart could expand the existing location into a superstore in about seven years instead of moving.

Wegmans recently  from Walmart. A  earlier this year.

Walmart officials did not return multiple requests for comment. A manager at the Abingdon Walmart  in 2012.

Proud to be liberal October 04, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Let us hope that this company does not ruin our neighborhood with traffic. But if they must come, let them pay for the infrastructure upgrades rather than the citizens.
Jeff Dinger October 05, 2011 at 02:43 AM
If Harford County is truly looking to acquire more park/recs land (Source: Aegis: 6 Aug 2011, Front page 2nd headline on right) then I could not show a better piece of land. The area is centrally located to many communities and would be a great addition for football/soccer/baseball not to mention a beautiful addition to our county for running/walking paths. If they truly plan to put a Center for the Arts eventually to the south of Festival, adding parkland to the North would be a marvelous legacy for the owners of Evergreen Land Trust, the owner on record of these 20+ acres (Hal DeHan) to leave to the county. It'd be a crown jewel for the park/recs in Harford County and another way to bring the community in Bel Air together.
Amy McClure April 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM
5 accidents in front of the new Sonic in as many days is a good indicator of how traffic might be impacted in this residential area! Please no WalMart on Plumtree!
Proud to be liberal April 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
We will just have to see if our elected officials care more about public safety or the profits of the world's largest corporation.

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