Hearing Set On Wal-mart Proposal

February 12, 1992

The county Zoning Board will hear testimony tonight on whether it should allow Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a department store and a wholesale shopping club in Ellicott City.

The hearing, which had beenscheduled for Jan. 8, was postponed so that the board would have time to receive additional information. It is set for 8 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the George Howard county office building.

Wal-Mart's petition was rejected by both the county Department ofPlanning and Zoning and the county Planning Board, but their decisions are only recommendations to the Zoning Board. Planners said Wal-Mart did not sufficiently justify the need for changing the 54 acres just east of U.S. 29 and north of U.S. 40 from office/research to commercial zoning.

They also said the stores would create more traffic than the area's roads can handle.

The first hearing attracted nearly 80 people, most of them opposed to the project. Residents of a neighboring town house project and its builder, Wilder Building Corp., have said they fear the project will bring noise from round-the-clock deliveries, trash blowing from parking lots, lights shining into bedrooms and crime from the large numbers of people who would be attracted to the stores.

As the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart has plans to build at least five stores in Maryland, including a 119,500-square-foot Wal-Mart department store and a 132,500-square-foot Sam's Club wholesale warehouse on opposite sides of North Ridge Road.

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