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Wal-Mart opening pushed to spring after delays


Howard County's first Wal-Mart outlet -- originally scheduled to open in Ellicott City as early as December -- won't open until spring, a company spokesman said yesterday.

Construction on the 22-acre project at the northeast corner of U.S. 29 and U.S. 40 could begin in a few months, said Maury Levin of KLNB Realtors, Wal-Mart's Howard representative. The permit process with the Department of Planning and Zoning took longer than expected, he said.

As of last month, all the paperwork for constructing the discount store -- such as grading permits and site development plans -- was in order, said Michael Antol, a county planner working on the Wal-Mart project.

Despite opposition from residents and retailers who dread either exacerbated traffic problems or increased competition, the county approved a preliminary site plan in June for the Arkansas-based chain.

The property on which the store will be built is mostly owned by Mangione Family Enterprises, owners and developers of Turf Valley Country Club. The Mangiones plan to build 200 townhouses on adjoining land.

The planned outlet for Ellicott City is one of 200 stores Wal-Mart plans to open nationwide within the next year. Wal-Mart has two stores nearby, one on U.S. 40 in Baltimore County and the other in Laurel. The chain has more than 2,100 stores.

Police log

Ellicott City: 3600 block of Mount Ida Drive: A burglar broke glass in the basement door of a house, entered and stole video games between Friday and Sunday, police said.

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