Royal Farms set to open in Parkton following continued debate

Anna Knepley, Co Editor-in-Chief

Despite community controversy regarding a large business adding a location in Hereford, the Baltimore County Board of Appeals granted Riverwatch LLC permission to build a Royal Farms on Mt Carmel Road in 2014. Hereford is one of two designated rural villages in Baltimore County, meaning the land use “is to provide for limited appropriate commercial growth in a centralized area that does not exceed environmental constraints,” according to The Hereford Community Plan, adopted in 1991. 

Complaints about constructing a Royal Farms came from local business owners, such as Mr. Tom Graul of Graul’s Market, about a multitude of issues: worries of a gas leak and its implications due to the lack of barriers preventing the gas from entering surrounding wells and the need for another gas station in historically rural Hereford. A formal petition for judicial review was filed with the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, following the ruling from the Board of Appeals in favor of Riverwatch LLC, and the Court established that Royal Farms had obtained the required vested zoning rights, subsequently giving the go ahead to build.  

The roughly six-acre lot located next to Graul’s Market was previously the site of the Hereford Fall Festival, but beginning Feb. 7, will house a gas station and RoFo’s World Famous Chicken. It will include a canopy with six dual-sided fuel dispensers to allow as many as 12 cars to pump gas simultaneously.  The Parkton location will begin their hiring process Wednesday, Jan. 19, offering full-time and part-time positions starting at $14 an hour.