Demolition should halt at new Walgreens site
Many of us who live in the residential neighborhoods near the MD 175/Thunder Hill Road intersection are outraged that the developer of the proposed Walgreens site at that intersection is starting to demolish the existing building and to clear-cut all of the mature trees on the site. It's bad enough that what has been a beautiful park-like area in Oakland Mills is being stripped away, but the developer is doing it with the full knowledge that approval of that development is still being contested in the courts.
There is a pending case involving Walgreens before the Circuit Court for Howard County. In this case, a number of land-use decisions are being challenged, including Howard County government's actions involving this proposed Walgreens store. Also, there is a possibility that a complaint about county decisions relating to this store will be added to a pending federal lawsuit involving due process issues.
We and others in our neighborhoods have no axe to grind against the Walgreens organization. We do, however, know that serious mistakes were made during the development approval process, and we are optimistic that there will be corrective action as a result of the court cases. By going forward, the developer is taking a risk that the courts could rule against its plan and cause it to tear down whatever is built.
We do not welcome Walgreens to our community under these circumstances, and therefore we hope that Walgreens will tell the developer to halt any further destruction of that beautiful site, reconsider its plans, and choose an alternative location for the store in the Columbia area.
—Sandra E. Braxton-Riley, Columbia
—Froydis H. Beckerman, Columbia