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.
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.
A 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.