MARYLAND

Montgomery Co. council votes to allow Wal-Mart to move in

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The Aspen Hill neighborhood is split over whether to let Wal-Mart build on a large piece of land on Connecticut Avenue. The county voted Monday to allow Wal-Mart to move in, but not everyone will be rolling out the welcome mat for the large retailer.

Photo: The Associated Press

There was some sort of activity at the long dormant BAE Systems office Monday. Landscapers groomed the lawn, which is a far cry from the bustling complex that was once home to hundreds of workers.

“Myself, I have a lot of customers from there, but I don’t see them anymore,” says Sohka Chan, a hairdresser.

It’s been three years since BAE abandoned the office space and left many area businesses without their regular customers.

“During lunchtime they could come here, get a haircut, get food to eat,” Chan says.

But what to do with the one-acre lot has been the source of controversy for years with many in the area divided on whether the current suitor, Wal-Mart, should be allowed in.

“Before it can be put in there the traffic challenges have to be answered,” says Max Bronstein, a resident of Montgomery County. “I don’t have anything against any retail going in there.”

It appears the majority of Montgomery County councilmembers agree. They voted 5 to 4 to approve a study on whether to rezone the space to allow a retailer move in.

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