Walmart Advertises Community Meeting on Move to Bel Air

Walmart hopes to move from its Abingdon location to a new building in Bel Air.

While a meeting seeking community input on Walmart's potential move from Abingdon to Bel Air was advertised in The Aegis this week, Harford County Pllanning and Zoning had no record of such a meeting as of Monday.

The meeting will be held July 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at , according to a legal advertisement posted online and in Friday's editon of the paper.

"The purpose of this meeting is for the Applicant to provide information to the community regarding the proposed commercial development (including draft plans for the site layout), and to allow citizens to ask questions and make comments and suggestions," the ad states.

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In March of 2011, Walmart representatives told Patch the store was considering to the 33.7-acre lot at the intersection of Maryland Route 924 and Plumtree Road in Bel Air.

Based on preliminary discussions, Walmart planned to build a superstore at the new location and sell the current building located in , a Walmart employee told Patch last year.

The plan was met with backlash from the community, with residents along the Route 924 corridor holding meetings and expressing opposition to .

Pete Gutwald, Harford County's director of planning and zoning, told Patch Monday that Walmart had not yet submitted any such meeting information to his department.

"They haven’t submitted anything officially to us," Gutwald said.

Gutwald said he is aware of the advertisement and expects to see something come from Walmart within the next few days. He added developers are required to advertise a specific number of times before an input meeting takes place and that may be why the advertisement appeared before Harford County knew about the meeting.

"They only have to tell us two weeks before the date," Gutwald said, later adding, "It’s conceptual I’m sure at this point."

The reason for the proposed move is a restriction on selling a full line of groceries at Walmart's Constant Friendship Boulevard location, Gutwald said in a previous interview. A land deal that expires in 2018 restricts businesses in the area from selling groceries, meaning Walmart could expand the existing location into a superstore in about six years instead of moving.

Wegmans recently  from Walmart. A  earlier this year.

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