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PHOENIX–Four cities in the Greater Phoenix area want to curtail the creation of supersize retail stores within their boundaries and may enact severe restrictions to discourage development of new ones.

In response to public outcry, Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale and Peoria are considering controls that would limit the size of retail stores and where they can be built. “These big boxes are phenomenon that came rushing in very quickly and pretty much caught us unaware,” says Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs. “They practice predatory business and run other businesses out. We are sending a message to the industry that they don’t have free rein.”

Public opposition already killed plans for a Home Depot in Scottsdale and a Wal-Mart in Chandler. Neighbors are fighting against a Wal-Mart in Glendale, and plans for one in Mesa are on hold pending a court challenge.

This week Wal-Mart officials scrapped plans for a Supercenter at 24th Street and Baseline Road in Phoenix because the city had put a 130,000-sf maximum on new buildings, says Amy Hill, a Wal-Mart spokesperson.

Other cities are considering limits on the size of what could be built in certain areas, effectively preventing supersize stores from coming in.

The rejection of big-box retailers is a complete turnaround from just a few years ago, when cities clamored to have these retailers move in to generate sales tax revenue.

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