PHOENIX-Another big-box retail project has been stopped in its tracks in metropolitan Phoenix.Plans for a 200,000-sf Wal-Mart supercenter in Glendale “are now in our legal department and are being reviewed,” Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs told a group of citizens this week. “Plans are no longer moving forward.”

Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, had approved the zoning for the store more than a year ago. In July, Wal-Mart signed a lease for the parcel at the corner of 51st and Olive Avenues. But now the city has hired a local land-use attorney to conduct studies on traffic, street intersections and entrances.

The move caught Wal-Mart off guard. The company thought plans were progressing and had no idea that the city had hired an attorney to review the plans, says Amy Hill, a spokeswoman for the retail giant.

Glendale is one of four Valley cities, along with Tucson, that either have controls or are considering creating controls over supersize stores by setting limits on their size and where they can be built.

Public opposition already killed plans for a Home Depot in Scottsdale and a Wal-Mart in Chandler. Last 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 limit on the largest building.

Other cities are considering restricting the size and location of buildings to effectively prevent supersized stores from coming in. The rejection of big-box retailers is a complete turnaround from just a few years ago, when cities clamored to get them for their sales tax revenue.

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