Maryland Costco opens with controversy

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WHEATON, Md. — It is a ribbon cutting ceremony with controversy looming.

Costco’s new location opens Wednesday morning at the Westfield Wheaton Mall.

The 148,000-square-foot warehouse store is expected to draw an additional 4,000 to 5,000 customers to the area each day.

Shoppers and residents have voiced concerns about traffic congestion.

“I plan to watch and see how it goes,” says Alicia Gassler, a shopper. “But I’m not terribly worried.”

Another shopper, Klaus Waibel, says, “It’s normal to have traffic at a mall.”

He goes on, “I’m not too worried about it.”

Costco is also entangled in an ongoing dispute with county officials.

The Montgomery County Planning Board voted in opposition to a proposed 16-pump gas station on the property.

Hearings on the matter are scheduled to begin later this month.

Watch video from the Wednesday opening of Costco below (Courtesy Geoffrey Manifold):

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