The bill, with its five approved amendments, came before the council for a vote. McMahan made a motion to approve, and Boniface called for a second.

None was offered, however.

"There being no second, Bill No. 13-16, as amended, fails," Boniface said with a sigh.

The council president said after the meeting he thought the legislation was good.


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"I'm disappointed we couldn't even get it to the floor to discuss it," he said.

Woods said he did not offer a second because he had not planned to vote for the bill.

"I never second something I'm not voting for," he said Thursday.

Woods said he and other council members had heard from a number of people concerned about the potential impacts from Bill 13-16 on similar building projects throughout the county.

He noted projects dependent on time-limited bank funding could have been hurt by a loss of funds.

"I got more e-mails and contacts from people giving me reasons why this will hurt them," he said.

Woods clarified that, under state and county law, the county council could not vote on the Walmart project when sitting as the Board of Appeals, because members are too familiar with it.

The county also risked having to defend the legislation in court.

He said the Department of Planning and Zoning has sole authority to approve the project.

Walmart spokesman William Wertz, reached for comment last week, declined to comment further, referring to a written statement he had provided after the public hearing.

"Moving forward, we will continue to work with the county planning department, answer questions and share information about the benefits a Walmart store can bring to Bel Air," Wertz stated.

Hundreds of residents opposed to the project packed the County Council chambers last October as the Development Advisory Committee reviewed it.

Moe Davenport, chairman of the DAC, ultimately recommended the county not approve the project until Walmart could ease residents' concerns over traffic and other impacts from the development.

County government spokesman Robert Thomas said Tuesday the development is "still a pending project with Planning and Zoning," and Walmart officials must revise their plans before planning officials review them.