Montgomery County may be getting a second Wal-Mart, but the county council wants a say in the plans for the new store.
Plans to put a Wal-Mart in Aspen Hill have yet to be sent to the planning board, much less the county council, but it's already a political firestorm. Council members discussed what they know of the proposal during a council meeting Oct. 4.
Council member Craig Rice, whose district contains the only Wal-Mart in the county in Germantown, advised his colleagues not to get overly involved in the planning process. Previously, Rice was a state delegate at a time when the General Assembly passed a bill telling Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health care.
"I just want to caution, because I've seen it," Rice said. "To where we've tried to shape legislation to keep out certain groups and it hasn't been effective. We shouldn't hamstring ourselves."
Councilman George Leventhal agreed, but he says there's no way the Wal-Mart plan is like any other development proposal. "It's been quite public, what is the retailer that's proposed," he said. Leventhal figures the council will see the full plan in February.