Big Deale for groceries

Arundel: Argument is getting thinner against proposed supermarket for south county.

June 27, 2000

FOR MORE than a year, a group of southern Anne Arundel County citizens have fought tenaciously against the Safeway Co.'s plans to build a large supermarket and shopping center in the idyllic, waterside community of Deale.

They've argued that a 55,000-square-foot store would have a negative environmental impact, but the plans have so far passed local and federal regulatory tests. They've also argued that the store would be too big, but the population of Shady Side-Deale has grown 131 percent since 1960. A large, modern store isn't an intrusion; it's a necessity.

Indeed, arguments against the proposed Safeway are growing thin. Earlier this month, the county's Department of Planning and Code Enforcement ruled that the proposed center does not need a flood plain waiver, reversing an earlier decision after further study. If the site plan and grading permits are approved according to standard procedure, there can be no legitimate argument against building the store in Deale.

It's easy to understand why Safeway wants to build on the 16-acre site in the community it has eyed for more than a decade. The chain is playing the usual follow-the-leader retail game.

Perhaps 20 years ago, the planned store would not have been a good fit in Deale, times have changed. If Safeway comes, the grocer should assure that it will be a good neighbor.

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