Residents protest plan to build a fourth Walmart in Harford County

Site is along busy Route 924, South of Bel Air

There are already three Walmart stores in Harford County, and now a lot of people are upset about a plan to build a fourth one.

The world's largest retailer is hoping to build a new, 180-thousand square foot store along Route 924 near Plumtree Road, south of Bel Air.

Plans were unveiled Thursday night at a packed public meeting at Patterson Mill High School.  The chant coming from the crowd was, "We don't want you here."

"We as a community do not want this. None of us want it," said Tom Binns, who lives near the site.

Residents worry that Walmart traffic would make it impossible to turn out of their neighborhoods, onto Route 924.  They say it's already tough now.

"During rush hour, I don't dare do it because I'll get t-boned. I don't think your traffic study takes that into account," said Harry Kramer, who also lives nearby.

That study was part of what Walmart officials unveiled at the meeting.  They are promising road improvements to keep people safe.

"That gets examined by the county and it gets examined by the state to ascertain whether or not all the traffic improvements that we're making will mitigate the impacts of having the store at this location," said Tom Klein, an attorney who works with Walmart.

But residents say those studies need to be done on weekends and holidays when 924 is at its busiest.  Or better yet -- they say -- just kill the project.

"We all own houses within a mile district of here and we should have a say of what businesses are brought into our community," Binns said.

There will have to be another public hearing before the Harford County Planning and Zoning Department before the new Walmart could be approved.

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