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Walmart has “not met the regulations till date.”

17 April 2013
Harford County Council

Harford County Council hears Comments from Attending Citizens

After bill 13-16 failed to come to vote at the Harford County Council Meeting of April 16, Bill Wehland spoke about what we could still do to prevent Walmart from moving to Plumtree Road in Bel Air.    He talked about the efforts he had made to approach Walmart and emphasized that even without Bill 13-16, the county still had it within its power to apply the rules of the B3 zoning code and deny permission on the grounds that the neighbourhood does not need the store.   “They haven’t met the regulations till date,” he said, encouraging people to stay involved.

| Take Action: Contact the County Council and urge them to stop the move of Walmart to Bel Air. |

Here are my notes from what he said at the meeting.  You can also see the video of Council Meetings at the Harford County Government website. 


Bill Wehland’s comments to the County Council, April 16 2013:
Other counties have had size caps on stores, and they have been successful.
I want everyone to know that we have tried very hard as a community and have pleaded with Walmart to reconsider and expand at Constant Friendship.  They can, and we proved it to them.  They have never approached the Planning and Zoning department to even talk about expansion.
This thing started at a community input meeting, and gentlemen, your community input meeting are completely failing. Because you have citizens there that have comments, and they are completely ignored.  Local organizations have talked about it. Everyone is opposed to this store going there.  We have nothing against Walmart.  We shop at Walmart. They don’t need to come to that location.  They have three locations.  The Harford County executive has tried to speak to Walmart.  They continue to ignore the basic fact that this is a bad location, in a residential neighbourhood.
Bill Weland to County Council:  "[Walmart] hasn't met regulations till date....  We don't need them. We don't want them."

Bill Wehland to County Council: “[Walmart] hasn’t met regulations till date…. We don’t need them. We don’t want them.”

As a community, according to the rules of the B-3 business district – we don’t need them.  That is what B3 also talks about.
Honestly, I really thought that Walmart personnel would be reasonable to work with and I have found the following from my own personal experience.
I have worked hard at this.  I have talked to executives at Wal-mart.  They completely ignore letters of concern, as do their local assigned representatives. They could care less.
It’s a joke when they say, “Walmart values the Bel AIr community and the communities they serve.”  They don’t live in our community. In fact, many of them don’t even live in the state of Maryland.
So why should they care about increased traffic congestion, more signals, safety of children from nearby schools, safety of pedestrians,  the crime that Walmart brings, the loss of small businesses that have been in our community for years, and how they will negatively impact the quality of our everyday lives?
It is a known fact: 187, 005 square feet will generate 12 truck deliveries a day – that is 80-90 / week in our neighborhood. Do they care?  No.
It’s a known fact that Walmart center will bring  – no dispute about it by Wal-mart – 10,000 more cars / day
They don’t care.
It is a known fact that 924 cannot be improved to accommodate them without major infrastructure changes – at the cost of the citizens of Harford county.  Because they are only responsible for what is around their store.
They dont care and continue to push forward in spite of all these facts.
You know, Walmart has the opportunity to change their image to Bel Air – by dropping their proposed site.
Their actions to date simply makes me say that I question their tactics, their ethics, their credibility and their honesty.  I have been down this road and they have lied to me, they have lied to the council, and they have lied to the county executive.
So what is it going to take to drop this proposal and expand the Constant Friendship store?
It just may be – and I hope and pray – that they will never be able to meet the Harford County regulations and they will be forced to drop the proposal.  We have it within our means.  They haven’t met the regulations till date.
That is my hope and I encourage citizens to stay involved. We don’t need them, we don’t want them, and I can’t make it any clearer than that.
 – Bill Wehland, Harford County Council Meeting, April 16, 2013  COMMENTS FROM ATTENDING CITIZENS
Note:  Bill Wehland also wrote this article in The Dagger, April 23, 2013:  “Our County Cuncil Needs to Wake Up and Stop Outlandish Development
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  1. Why Bill 13-16 Failed | Idlewild Days

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