"I would say your primary obligation is the welfare of your citizens and not to the welfare of Walmart," he said.

A state representative even weighed in – Republican Del. Glen Glass, whose district covers areas of Cecil and Harford counties, took the podium dressed in a Baltimore Orioles jacket.

He said he "wanted to go to an Orioles game tonight, but I wanted to come here instead and speak for the 80,000 citizens I represent in the Route 40 corridor."

"I do not want Harford County to turn into Montgomery County, thank you very much," he added to applause from bill supporters.

Two representatives of Walmart were at Tuesday's hearing.

Spokesman William Wertz provided a written statement.

"We continue to believe that our store is appropriate for the Plumtree [Road] site and can be part of the solution for residents who want convenient and affordable shopping options," it stated.

McMahan said before the hearing, the legislation was not targeted at Walmart, but to give greater transparency and oversight to the approval process for projects in B3 zones.

His colleague, Guthrie, said several weeks ago the bill was "absolutely" meant to delay the Walmart project.

"When I originally thought of this bill, it had no intention whatsoever at that time to stop any development at that location," McMahan said of the site at Plumtree Road.