After more than a decade a planning and community turmoil, Fallston's Aumar Village is finally coming to life.
The shopping center at the corner of Routes 1 and 152 is gradually taking shape after years of community opposition, litigation and zoning issues.
"I'm very proud of what's going on here," Euler said last Wednesday as he conducted a tour at the shopping center's site.
A Fallston resident himself, Euler says the retail site will be useful for the community and provide businesses that everyone, including his own family, will find beneficial.
At the moment, Aumar Village just looks like aMcDonald'swith a brick facade surrounded by mounds of dirt. To see the whole picture, though, one has to imagine thousands of bushes around the main entrance, a winding road leading to the heart of the center, lined by tulip light posts, eco-friendly initiatives and businesses that will serve a community that will no longer need to travel one town over to do their errands.
That's Euler's vision for the commercial area that he and his partner, the late Joseph Deigert, who died in 2004, dreamed up more than a decade ago.
The business partners were taken by the idea of a village-type shopping experience that catered to Fallston's needs and aesthetics, different from the nearby strip malls and the commercial mishmash that dominated the rest of the Route 1 corridor from the Baltimore County line to Bel Air for decades.
"The community has been skeptical as to what we do here," Euler said.
Selling residents on the what they wanted to accomplish proved to be harder than expected for the developers, who named their project in honor of the property's former longtime owners, the late August Rogan and his wife Marie, thus: Au-Mar Village.
During community input meetings in 2008 and 2009, residents came out in droves to ask questions about traffic congestion at an already busy intersection and problems an additional traffic light would cause.
After several traffic studies, it was determined that the entrances and exits on Route 1 will be right in, right out and left in.
On Route 152, it is a right in, right out entrance and exit with a "Maryland T" near the bank, which will be similar to what is at the Bel Air Bypass at Route 24 near Harford Mall.
Euler says a traffic light most likely won't be needed since the light at Harford Road should give enough of an interruption in traffic to allow drivers to enter and exit the shopping center safely.
The shopping center, he believes, will also ease traffic going into Bel Air or Abingdon, where many residents go to do regular errands.
Before the shopping center was proposed, in the late 1990s, Euler and Mr. Deigert proposed a 300-unit senior housing community and commercial area for the site. The community was opposed to this idea, partly because of traffic concerns.
In 2003, it was then proposed to use the B-3-zoned area of the property for as similar shopping center, and got as far as the Development Advisory Committee review process.
During that time, the business partners were in litigation, sparked from a zoning appeals process over the number of parking spaces permitted on the adjoining agricultural property.