BY MARISSA GALLO, firstname.lastname@example.org
4:10 PM EDT, October 16, 2012
The public will have the chance to see site plans for the proposed new Walmart in south Bel Air and ask questions about the project during the county's Development Advisory Committee meeting set for 9 a.m. Wednesday.
The DAC meeting will be in the Harford County Council chambers at 212 S. Bond St. in Bel Air, not its usual location at 220 S. Main St. The session was moved to the larger council chamber because of the intense public interest in the project.
If recent roadside protests and the turnout at the July 19 community input meeting held on the Walmart plan at Patterson Mill High School are any indication, Wednesday's DAC meeting will most likely be filled with concerned citizens asking questions about traffic, safety and the need for the move from its current Constant Friendship location.
Walmart is the only project listed on the DAC agenda, which can be viewed along with the site plan on the Harford County Government website, http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/planningzoning/index.cfm?ID=106&DACID=273.
The proposed new Walmart location is on the south side of Plumtree Road between Routes 924 and 24 in Bel Air. It's a location and a plan many residents say they feel is unnecessary and could be detrimental to the community.
Other residents, however, have expressed support for the project and a counter-movement to back the new store has surfaced in recent weeks.
DAC members, representatives from several county and state departments, will make comments and recommendations on the site plans and, often times, the developer has to make adjustments to a site plan before the project can continue. The time frame of that process varies by the number of adjustments that need to be made and its complexity.
Residents will also have an opportunity during the meeting to ask questions and make comments on the site plan.
Walmart has been actively trying to get residents on board with the project, buying ads on The Aegis' website, exploreharford.com and, last week, meeting with Abingdon Community Council members in an effort to have an open discussion about the project.
The company also has sent post cards to people living in the area that would be affected by the proposed new location, asking if they are in favor of or against the Bel Air store.
Residents who responded in favor of the project were also asked to e-mail messages of support to The Aegis and county officials.
The Aegis has received half a dozen e-mails supporting the project, and the majority of the messages were unsigned or signed only with a first name.