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Walmart Advertises Community Meeting on Move to Bel Air

Walmart hopes to move from its Abingdon location to a new building in Bel Air.

While a meeting seeking community input on Walmart's potential move from Abingdon to Bel Air was advertised in The Aegis this week, Harford County Pllanning and Zoning had no record of such a meeting as of Monday.

The meeting will be held July 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at , according to a legal advertisement posted online and in Friday's editon of the paper.

"The purpose of this meeting is for the Applicant to provide information to the community regarding the proposed commercial development (including draft plans for the site layout), and to allow citizens to ask questions and make comments and suggestions," the ad states.

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In March of 2011, Walmart representatives told Patch the store was considering to the 33.7-acre lot at the intersection of Maryland Route 924 and Plumtree Road in Bel Air.

Based on preliminary discussions, Walmart planned to build a superstore at the new location and sell the current building located in , a Walmart employee told Patch last year.

The plan was met with backlash from the community, with residents along the Route 924 corridor holding meetings and expressing opposition to .

Pete Gutwald, Harford County's director of planning and zoning, told Patch Monday that Walmart had not yet submitted any such meeting information to his department.

"They haven’t submitted anything officially to us," Gutwald said.

Gutwald said he is aware of the advertisement and expects to see something come from Walmart within the next few days. He added developers are required to advertise a specific number of times before an input meeting takes place and that may be why the advertisement appeared before Harford County knew about the meeting.

"They only have to tell us two weeks before the date," Gutwald said, later adding, "It’s conceptual I’m sure at this point."

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 in a previous interview. 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 six years instead of moving.

Wegmans recently  from Walmart. A  earlier this year.

Would you support a Walmart in this new location? Why or why not? Leave a comment.

Emily July 03, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Wouldn't it make more sense to "re-use" the property at their present location? Constant Friendship is much more equipped to handle that volume of traffic, not 924. It really doesn't take an engineer to see this senario.
harfordman July 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I live in Forest Hill and since the Kohl's has moved in I see no difference in the traffic in that area and there parking lot is alway's full of car's.It's not like everyone get's there at the same time and leaves at once.Now with a fast food coming that may make a little difference.
Danial Carver July 03, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Everybody complains about not wanting Walmart near them but when they build it, it is always packed with customers. You complain when your local stores are driven out of business by these superstores and their lower prices. Yet you won't go in the local stores and pay the higher prices. You quietly sneak into Walmart and get that shovel for $5 less or that big screen TV for a huge discount. Then you go on Patch and scream and hollar "NO WALMART".
Lori July 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Why not move the Wal Mart to Forest Hill. It's not like it's a remote area with a McDonalds already there. It would be nice to be able to buy a spool of thread without having to drive into Bel Air. As far as the Kohl's, i shop there all the time and the store parking lot is always clean and I never get caught in a traffic jam. I had no idea a school was even near it, They seem to be good neighbors.
Wings July 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Honestly a Wal Mart or any other store does not cause that much of a traffic disaster, except around the Holidays. If it were a Stadium they wanted to build I would say yea that will be a traffic headache. But I would bet that then all of you men wouldn't care about that. And I have to ask, how does a Wal Mart endanger kids at a school 2 blocks away? Have you checked to see if there were any halfway houses or sex offenders near that school? Tha would be a bigger worry than a darn store.
Monica July 03, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The Fallston people complained about the one that was built there, but now they are the same people who crowd the store for the deals they can get.
Richard S*****r July 03, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Couldn't agree more... It is either a big box store or online purchasing.
Aaron July 03, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I drive on route 924 everyday. Most of the time the traffic moves well but at rush hour the traffic is a slow moving bumper to bumper. They just built a new Fire station on 924 and I don't see how the emergency vehicles will travel down 924 without being impeded from traffic from a new Walmart Super store there. I now see any attempt to put a Walmart or any other box store in the place of the tree forest island, as an eyesore and traffic and safety hazard. Too much traffic in Harford county and too much road work needed and not enough money to pay for it all. What happens to the old Walmart building? I'm sure another box store will take its place and bring in more traffic. I don't see them tearing down that building and putting up a greenspace. Maybe a new casino will be put there. Oh no I think the fix is in. Maybe they could leave a few trees up for us country people.
ABINGDON GIRL ALL MY LIFE July 03, 2012 at 06:58 PM
OKAY, RT 24 doesn't need another item to cause major accidents.....I don't know who did the planning of the new 24/924/95 area, but they must have been on something when they didn't until they fix it or put cameras at the light right at denny's they will ways have a problem.. U make 2 lanes for the same route, but only a single lane to access 924/tollgate road/ & 95, 4 locations merged into 1 single lane, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to say that is not gonna work. They just keep spending more money and more money, I have lived in harford county in the same house for 31 years. I have seen at least 10 changes to that entire area from royal farms in edgewood (rt 7) up through to singer road and they thought that this would be easier and cause less accidents ummmm WRONG!!!!! It has caused more. If people would just read the signs I don't think it would be as bad. They have them posted far enough in advance.
Wings July 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I completely agree with with headache they created a the 24/924/95 area. The first time I went that way after it was done I didn't realize I had to stay to the right like I was getting on 95 just to get on 924, coming from the edgewood way. So of course once I realized it it was too late. I had to drive all the way to the next red light and turn around. I can not be the only person that did that. Then coming out and trying to get back on 24 which wasn't that hard I saw more middle fingers and heard more horns blowing than I do when I drive in Baltimore. One lady just decided to stop right in the middle of it all and got out and made her husband drive. It was hilarious and frustrating all at the same time.
Carol July 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I like Wal Mart but most of our shopping in that area is BJ's I gotta tell you it is the worse design of any store area I've ever seen, such a mess getting in and out of that place.. One more thing they have way to much in that area for only having the one way in and out. They need another exit.
Lori July 03, 2012 at 08:32 PM
The traffic pattern there is very confusing. Try to avoid the area. If I'm going to B.J.'s I go as early as I can. Even hate to drive to the festival because there's so much traffic and still haven't been to Wegmans for the same reason. That area has been developed enough.
Frank July 03, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Well Folks. Stop wringing your hands in anguish. Remember back when the Constant Freindship development was supposed to be a shopping mall? This was opposed by the good doerrs in that area because of so called green spaces being overrun. Of course the developers at that time wanted to cede over a million bucks to the Abingdon Fire Company, develop green spaces for the communities there, and a few other perks such as developing a interchange that would service the 24 corridor. This was to be done at their expense! Well the good folks in Constant Freindship won the day. Now we have an interchange paid for by the county and state revenues (taxes) and a almost certainty of developing of the current site into something originally planned. Now the property being addressed actually has nothing to do with farmland. It is an island of brambles that is actually hazardous to wildlife. If you don't bel;ieve that, check out the road kill on both 24 and 924 tomorrow morning. As for schools and kids jumping from their classes to go to Walmart? C'mon use common sense. They don't have their parents paying for what ever they want....
Karen Barg July 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM
If you lived in the area that will be affected, you would know that it almost impossible to drive out of your subdivision onto 924 from 7am to 9 am and again from 3 pm to 6 pm already. When there are school activities, the backup continues into the evening hours. Access to WalMart will be on 924 and Plumtree, both two-lane roads, since Rt 24 is limited access. While the Constant Friendship and Fallston locations are heavy use commercial areas, the proposed site fronts on an area that is predominately residential and light-use commercial. And while it's true that WalMart would be located one block (not two) away from Patterson Mill Middle/High School, many of the children walking home from school have to walk along 924, needing to cross increasingly dangerous intersections at both Patterson Mill Road and Plumtree Road. Google WalMart traffic impact study to see how much a WalMart Supercenter affects traffic and you might better understand why many of us are concerned.
Donna Johnson Keavney July 04, 2012 at 02:46 AM
You sure did hit the nail on the head....they need another exit and have needed one for many years.
volunteer mom July 04, 2012 at 05:23 AM
I also live in Forest Hill, about 1/10 mile from Kohls. I have been here for over 10 years and in the past 4 years the traffic is terrible!! Keep in mind that people from PA and all of Northern Harford County come from Rocks Rd through Forest Hill. Not counting the development that they county keeps approving. With 924 leading directly into Rocks Rd there is no way of even widening the roads to handle the traffic.
Pamela July 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I like the idea! Getting in and out of the Abingdon Walmart is not fun. I'm sure the new Walmart will be a Super Walmart! One stop shopping! Can not beat the prices!
lynn July 06, 2012 at 02:02 AM
I would love it there. I NEVER even attempt to venture to the one in Abingdon. I think it would be a good move, it would alleviate some of the congestion at that intersection,.
Mr Bill July 09, 2012 at 11:48 PM
As much as I like being able to drive one block to get to the Walmart now I'm glad to see my fellow Walmart shoppers get to have it located nice and close to them. I will enjoy the fact that my wife won't be as easily able to get there twice a day. She can't get out of there without spending $50. Bring on the superstore I look forward to full line of groceries. Thanks Walmart!
mighty1 July 10, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Bel Air shopping is as frustrating as trying to get into a pay toilet with a bent nickel.Home depot off rt 24 is probably the best example of pandemonium at its' best when it comes to that.When I go i go early and proceed with caution.I miss the old guy with the farm at the rt1-24 intersection,time marches on.I love it when they discuss the history of Bel Air.I guess someone should point out that we're still making it.Hard to believe someone will take pride in all the strip malls built in the neo-idiotic zoning era of the early shopamania period.One day at a time.
Common Sense July 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM
We need to use our VOTING POWER and vote our Councilman out of office, if that's what it takes.
Common Sense July 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Everyone need to attend the Public Meeting on July 19th form 6:30 to 8:30 pm to voice their opposition. The traffic study has not been approved and we need to voice our opposition and explain the present traffic congestion in the area. Walmart at Plumtree will bring Edgewood and Forest Hill residents into South Bel Air it will bring 18 wheelers that supply Walmart into the area, it's going to be BAD for the area. Also were all voters and we need to send a message to our Councilman and County Executive that we are Voters and will vote them out if necessary. We own homes and pay property taxes and this will bring down the value of our homes. WE ALL NEED TO STAND TOGETHER ATTEND PUBLIC MEETING JULY 19th at PATTERSON HIGH 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Steve July 19, 2012 at 05:01 PM
How about the Dublin or North Harford area?It is a drive going to any Walmart from there.It would also serve Southern York county and Cecil county if located right.There is life north of Bel Air and who ever builds in that area first gets a lot of business.Check out # 1 and # 136 area also # 165 between # 136 and # 24 area,both would be great places for a Walmart
RP July 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
No thanks keep that garbage out of North Harford. I like my trees and corn fields.
mnm July 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
RP I couldn't agree more!
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