Letter: The issue of groceries

Walmart is proposing to relocate their Abingdon store in Constant Friendship Business Park to near Bel Air at the corner of Emmorton Road (route 924) and Plumtree Road. One of the reasons that has been put forth is a restriction on the land they own at Abingdon does not allow them to sell groceries.

A search of the Walmart deeds back to about 1974 did not turn up such a restriction; however, another property in the business park does carry a no-grocery restriction but it is located across Constant Friendship Blvd from Walmart and is south of Arundel Court.

If Walmart is not allowed to carry groceries at their current location, such a restriction appears to have been a bad business decision when they acquired the 13.52-acre parcel in 1992. Should such a restriction not exist, then expansion of the current site would appear to be much more logical.

In either case, this raises the question: why would Walmart choose a location in the middle of residential communities, when traditionally their stores are usually along major highways? The traffic in the vicinity of Emmorton Road, Plumtree Road and Bel Air Parkway south would significantly increase and Walmart representative at a public hearing on July 19 were unable to provide any definitive answers except they will work to mitigate traffic congestion. Meanwhile, local communities voiced vociferous objections to the Walmart relocation.

Walmart has a new tag line associated with its name that advises, "Save money. Live Better." In response to this may the communities in the area strongly advise, Walmart go away and: "Save your own money. Let us Live Better."

Jack Shagena Jr.

Bel Air

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