On Monday, neighbors in Carney started getting fliers asking for their support in obtaining the zoning changes that would be necessary to build a proposed CVS/pharmacy store on the southwest corner of the intersection of Harford and Joppa Roads.
The flier, which was recently obtained by Patch, asks readers to return a postage-paid card to a Carney PO Box stating their support for the project.
"We are planning an exciting new store for the southwest corner of Harford and East Joppa Roads," the flier said. "...But we need your support so we can invest in the community and enhance service and convenience."
Central Pennsylvania-based developer J.C. BAR Properties raised an issue during the county's Comprehensive Zoning Map Process to have the zoning of the southwest corner of Harford and East Joppa Roads changed from residential (DR 5.5 — a zoning code that allows for a density of 5.5 houses per acre) to commercial (BL) which would allow the new pharmacy to be built.
The Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) takes place every four years and "any citizen may request a zoning change on any property in the County, although the usual participants in the process are individual landowners, contract purchasers, community organizations, County staff, the Planning Board, and the County Council," according to the county website.
The Carney Improvement Association, a community group, is opposed to the zoning change on the grounds that it will impact an intersection they believe is failing.
"The Carney Improvement Association needs your help, and that of your friends and neighbors, to prevent the construction of a huge CVS on Harford Road just south of Joppa Road and Harford Road intersection which is already a failing intersection," said CIA president Meg O'Hare in an email to community members. "This would be dangerous from my personal knowledge of this location."
The State currently gives the intersection a failing grade of F for Level of Service, while the county rates the intersection as passing, albeit narrowly, with a D grade.
O'Hare asked members of the community to write Fifth District Councilman David Marks in opposition of the project, and pointed out that representatives from J.C. Bar are set to attend a Carney Improvement Association meeting late in March.
According to the flier mailed to area residents, the project would bring 80 contruction jobs and 40 service jobs to the neighborhood. The flier also says that CVS will invest a total of $6.1 million into the community and that the new store will offer a drive-thru pharmacy window and be open 24 hours per day.
The community currently stands opposed to the project, but as the County Council representative for Carney, councilman David Marks will have the final say in whether or not the zoning is ultimately changed.
"A number of residents will argue that it’s a congested intersection and another pharmacy is not needed. Others would argue that the property owner has residential land that would be very hard to sell as a home and there may be an opportunity to clean up the intersection." Marks said.
"I owe it to anyone who has made a request to wait for the planning board to make their recommendation before I make a decision," he said. "It's an issue of fairness."
"I owe it to the public to listen to the concerns and not make a decision right now."