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TEMECULA, CA-Plans to build a Wal-Mart store near Vail Ranch in Temecula are expected to come before government leaders soon.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisor on June 11 will hold a hearing on whether environmental plans for the proposed $30 million center by San Diego-based Price Legacy meet traffic and air quality rules. A year ago, a Superior Court judge ruled that additional road improvements might be necessary.

Price Legacy representatives say they have since done detailed traffic, air quality and soil studies and are now pursuing final approval of the project. The REIT will rebuild a historic barn that had been dismantled near Redhawk Parkway and use the structure to draw shoppers into the center.

Planned movie theaters have been replaced in the plan by a Kohl’s department store and a Ross Dress for Less store.

The project, which would also include restaurants and a bath-accessories store, is 98% leased and Price Legacy officials plan a March 2003 opening.

A major sticking point has been the Wal-Mart, which sparked a lawsuit by local slow-growth advocates citing concern over traffic, loss of small businesses and blight. However, both Price Legacy and city officials say they need the sales receipts and taxes the mega-retailer will bring.

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