County planners reject proposal to build Price Club

June 16, 1995|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,Sun Staff Writer

Amid fierce opposition from area residents, the Baltimore County Planning Board rejected last night a proposal for the north county's first megastore, a Price Club membership warehouse in Timonium.

"We won," said a jubilant Pat Badore of West Timonium Road after the meeting.

The board's 10-2 vote was a blow to the county's new economic development director, who had backed the store proposed for an industrial area on Aylesbury Road near Timonium Road. But the fight over the store might not be over -- the board's decision could be appealed.

Robert A. Hoffman, an attorney representing the developer, Price/Costco Inc., had no comment yesterday on whether the company will appeal.

Many area residents feared that traffic problems would increase in the already congested area if the Price Club was built.

"It's rotten, terrible now, and I think when they put it in, it will get worse," said Tom Kelly, a longtime Coachford resident and a member of the Greater Timonium Community Council, which opposed the store.

The 13.4-acre site is behind a Chi-Chi's restaurant, across the street from the Timonium Crossing shopping center and near the State Fairgrounds. The lot formerly was occupied by SACO Supply Co. and now contains a mix of vacant buildings.

Despite the community's opposition, the county Office of Planning and Zoning and the Department of Economic Development backed Kirkland, Wash.-based Price/Costco Inc.'s $15 million project.

Robert L. Hannon, the economic director, took the defeat in stride. "It was an independent board reaching an independent decision," he said.

"The warehouse recommendations were positive usage for that site and the community as a whole. . . . Obviously, there was anxiety about the effect on existing businesses," he said.

Price/Costco's plan called for a 136,500-square-foot store with 700 parking spaces. It was expected to employ about 150 people in 85 full-time and 65 part-time jobs.

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