What’s in the Box?!?! The Challenges & Opportunities of Big Box Development

Learn about the opportunities and challenges a county faces when trying to site a “big box” retail store at the 2015 MACo Summer Conference.


“Big box” retail stores like Walmart and Target can provide a broad array of necessary goods and services to nearby communities. However, they can also pose significant planning challenges, particularly if located in inappropriate areas. Infrastructure, traffic, natural resources, and the effect on residential neighborhoods must be taken into account when handling the location of a big box store. Zoning and adequate public facilities ordinances (APFOs) may be outdated or insufficient to manage these issues. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities related to big box development, how to tailor zoning and APFOs to best meet those challenges, and the importance of working with both residents and the store when developing a potential big box location.


  • Andrea Van Arsdale, Director, Baltimore County Office of Planning
  • Lisa Harris Jones, Founding Member/Attorney at Law, Harris Jones & Malone LLC
  • Gregory Slater, Director, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, Maryland State Highway Administration

Moderator: The Honorable J.B. Jennings,  Maryland State Senate

Date & Time: Thursday, August 13, 2015, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

For a schedule of educational sessions at MACo’s Summer Conference, please view the Registration Brochure.

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.