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CHANDLER, AZ-For the second time in three years, a Wal-Mart supercenter has gotten the thumbs down from Chandler’s planning board, but the retail giant still stands a chance of getting city council approval if changes to its plan are OK’d.

Citing the city’s “big box” ordinance which requires a 1,500-foot separation between the 203,000-sf retail complex and nearby homes, planning board officials blocked development of the supercenter at the northwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Willis Road. As presently proposed, the project would sit within 300 feet of the Alma School Place residential subdivision.

But Ralph Pew, a Mesa lawyer who represents Continental Properties, the Wisconsin-based company that owns the property, said architectural changes to the project’s design, such as adding a 100-foot greenbelt between the project and nearby homes, could win the development city council approval. In 2001, protests by neighbors stopped construction of a Wal-Mart at Alma School and Queen Creek roads and prompted the city council to enact a “big box” ordinance.

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