100 Particpate In Rally Against Bel Air Walmart

Event organizers say at least 100 people came out Saturday to express their opposition to the proposed Bel Air Walmart location.

Red and white signs were hard to miss Saturday afternoon along MD Route 924 in Bel Air.

At one point 82 people held signs expressing opposition to Walmart's proposed move to the area of MD Route 924 and Plumtree Road, event organizer Steve Tobia wrote in an email to Patch. The demonstration was part of a rally organized by the Bel Air South Community Foundation.

Tobia said more than 100 people stopped by the rally Saturday, and 95 people signed a petition through a drive-thru sign up service.

"Passing motorist[s] enthusiastically responded with near non-stop honking of horns," Tobia wrote.

Find more coverage of the Walmart issue here.

You tell us: What are your thoughts on the proposed Walmart move? Leave a comment. Have your own photos from the rally? Share them by clicking the "Add Photos & Videos" button in above.

MLB January 17, 2013 at 07:02 PM
The main and most important issue with Walmart relocating is traffic-a huge problem. Second, they want to maintain a 190,000 sq. ft 24 hour a day store-also a problem for quality of life and protection of surrounding home values. People from all over shop at The Festival, Harford Mall, Kirklands, Ross, BB&B, Marshalls, Kohl's, restaurants & many other highly visited stores located in Bel Air- that is NOT a problem. It has nothing to do with clientele, that is your interjected objection to turn this into a discrimination issue when it doesn't apply. Wegmans is not plunk in the middle of residential developments or a school or a firehouse. Moving Walmart to Plumtree would be like putting another Harford Mall right next to Festival. The few people from Abingdon who support the move have been direct and said they want to relieve the traffic in Abingdon, so you may be one of those who just wants to move the traffic mess.
CB9678 January 17, 2013 at 07:18 PM
The zoning code is not meant to protect your home value. MLB with all due respect listen to some of the things coming out of the moths of people at the zoning hearings and protest and the stuff people spew on various websites. Clearly in SOME minds is a dislike for the stereotypical walmart shopper. Wegman's looked at the same sight the walmart is proposing and they did pass but no one started getting upset about the possibility. To be fair you moved into the development envelope. Did you all not understand what that meant and what would happen? Abingdon is very large. The Constant Friendship folks are the ones who are in it for the traffic relief. The Abingdon Post office is located on the otherside of 24 and 924!
MLB January 18, 2013 at 04:54 AM
CB: The politicians we elect are supposed to protect our interests even if the zoning code doesn't. I will repeat that people from all over the county and Baltimore come to Bel Air to shop and eat. They are not discouraged or prevented from shopping in Bel Air. I would have opposed Wegman's just as emphatically, even though I believe the studies would indicate 1/2 the traffic of Walmart. Whatever goes there should not generate the traffic that a super Walmart would, should not be open 24 hours a day. Most of us moved into this "development envelope" to improve our quality of life and enjoy the suburban tranquility. Stop blaming the residents who spend their time working and taking care of their families because they didn't chase down a zoning notice or monitor the newspapers for zoning changes. I live 6 miles north of the Plumtree site so I may not be as directly affected as others nearby but I certainly don't want Bel Air turned into White Marsh.
CB9678 January 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM
MLB I am not trying to be hostile. I am offended by some opponents whose arguement is alot of talk about things which are not legal reasons to stop it. I am also offended by the apathy of some. The rezoning of this property started back in 2005 and although it was finally rezoned 4 years later the only opponents where a small group of people opposed to anything that resembled development. They would have opposed houses on the site. The poloticians failed you if you believe that was their job. David Craig, Joe Woods, Capt Jim and others who claim to want to stop it all voted for or approved plans to change it to B-3. Wegmans looked at the site as early as 2008.
CB9678 January 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Reasons I have heard from some are "local shops deserve priority" This is not a good reason to stop it. You can not offer a preferential treatment to some business and not others. I have heard from some it will bring crime and trash, this is an obvious reference to the clientel they believe they will see and a desire to keep them out. The traffic arguement is the only legitimate one and IF walmart can mitigate it than there should be no reason to stop it. I grew up in a neighborhood suttounded by trees and a National Park on one side sitting on a river. When I go visit my parents who still live there it now has tons of houses there where the trees once were. It is sad in many respects but to expect that no one will build there was unreasonable and I believe there are some in the anti-walmart camp who some how think the same. The only way to ensure that is for you all to pool your money together and buy the property.


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