Boulevard at Box Hill to have two restaurants, retail sites

The Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center in Abingdon will have two restaurants, two retail stores and the under-construction JCPenney store on its more than 30 acres.

Gerry Powell, a project engineer with Frederick Ward Associates, appeared before the Harford County Development Advisory Committee Wednesday morning to present plans for phase two of the "integrated community shopping center," as he described it.

The center will be east of Merchant Boulevard and north of Box Hill Corporate Center Drive with 1,009 proposed parking spaces.

Each restaurant will be 7,500 square feet, while one retail store will be 47,000 square feet and the other 49,000.

What stores and restaurants will occupy those sites has not been announced.

A traffic circle at Wegmans and Merchant boulevards will connect the proposed stores and where Wegmans, Joe's Crab Shack, Panera Bread and PNC Bank are off Route 924.

Rich Zeller, with State Highway Administration, commented on potential improvements to roads leading up to the shopping center.

He said he hopes the county will support extending the left-turn lane at Route 924 and Singer Road.

A review has also begun on extending the right-turn lane at Abingdon Road, Zeller added.

Powell said plans to make improvements to Abingdon Road have already been approved, but no permits have been given yet.

Cathy Zimmerman, with The Shelter Group, said lights at Wegmans already impact the third and fourth flour of Park View at Box Hill, a senior living apartment complex the company developed, and many residents walk from Park View to the stores and restaurants.

Davenport recognized that there have been issues with traffic in that area and the county is working to find solutions. Powell added they hope to widen Box Hill South Parkway.

"There are some improvements we do have to do to that intersection," he said.

There will also be signs in the shopping center directing people on which way to drive to access I-95.

Thomas Run Road housing

Bob Wilson, with Wilson Deegan and Associates, presented its preliminary plan for Ann's Meadow, a proposed 20 single-family home development on 6 acres on the west side of Thomas Run Road and south of Prospect Mill Road outside of Bel Air town limits.

The plan on display at the meeting noted all existing structures will be razed, any existing wells or septic systems will be abandoned and about 1.2 acres of forest area will be removed.

William E. Johnson Jr., whose property on Prospect Mill Road backs up to the proposed housing development, asked DAC chairman Mo Davenport, "Is this a done deal?"

Davenport responded that the Harford County Council approved zoning the area in 2008 as R2 for residential lots, and can't stop companies from developing when they are in compliance.

Johnson asked if any meetings were held regarding the zoning change because he wasn't aware of one.

"If there was a notice on there [the development property], I would've seen it" and attended the meetings, Johnson said.

Davenport assured the homeowner that the county displays notices when there is a public meeting and keeps records of the notices.

Johnson asked if there would be a buffer zone between the development and his property, and Davenport said one isn't planned.

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