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

Photo: The Associated Press

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.

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.