Wal-mart Testimony To Continue

March 25, 1992|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff writer

Witnesses for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will continue to testify during the fifth night of a Zoning Board hearing on the retailer's plans to build two warehouse-sized stores in Ellicott City.

The hearing willbegin at 9 tonight in the Banneker Room of the George Howard county office building.

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, began its case Feb. 12 that land near U.S. 40 and U.S. 29 should be rezoned from office-research to retail zoning because of a mistake in zoning and a change in the character of the neighborhood. The company's testimony has in parttried to refute unfavorable recommendations from the county Department of Planning and Zoning and county Planning Board.

"I see at least three more meetings before we finish," said Zoning Board Chairman C. Vernon Gray, a 3rd District Democrat on the County Council. The sixth night is scheduled for 8 p.m. next Wednesday; the seventh has notbeen set.

The council's and board's membership are the same.

"It's been the longest (hearing) we've had, in terms of the number of hours and meeting dates," said Gray, who has served on the board since 1982. "I've been a little surprised."

He attributes the lengthy process to the fact that the opposition is represented by two lawyers. They are planning to present about four expert witnesses, and about80 residents of the U.S. 40 corridor are signed up to testify against the rezoning.

A few residents are signed up to testify in favor of Wal-Mart.

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