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ORLANDO-Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has failed for the second time in 18 months to convince the Seminole County planning board that its proposed 230,000-sf, $28 million Supercenter in Oviedo would be a plus and not a negative stigma to one of Orlando’s affluent suburbs.

At a public hearing July 9, the board turned down the Bentonville, AR-based firm’s request for a rezoning of 55 acres at Red Bug Lake and Mikler Roads, just west of the one-million-sf Oviedo Marketplace mall. County commissioners will make the final decision on the project Aug. 12.

Oviedo city commissioners rejected a similar Wal-Mart Supercenter in February 2002 at State Road 426 and Red Bug Lake Road. In June 2002, the county’s planning board turned down a developer’s request for a shopping center at Red Bug Lake and Mikler Roads, the same location Wal-Mart now is targeting. The project wasn’t submitted later to the county commission.

Wal-Mart officials in Arkansas declined comment. But Seminole County planning staffers confirm to GlobeSt.com that Wal-Mart had offered to create noise buffers around its project in a densely populated neighborhood.

However, residents such as Lisa M. DeVore, feel buffers aren’t the answer. “There are 382 homes in Tuska Ridge alone that sell between $200,000 and $350,000, and those property values will be directly affected by the potential development of a 200,000-sf-plus Super Wal-Mart directly across the street,” DeVore tells GlobeSt.com.

“What makes this so perverse is that Oviedo is not an underserved market–not by any stretch of the imagination,” she says. “There is a Target about one-quarter of a mile from this proposed site and it more than adequately servers the area’s residents. Not to mention that Wal-Mart has a store just off of Red Bug Lake Road in Casselberry at Lake Howell Road; a Super Wal-Mart on Colonial Drive near Alafaya Trail; and there are two Wal-Mart neighborhood centers within a five-mile radius.”

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