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1999-07-27
Chandler, AZ. Wal-Mart Runs Into Buzz Saw

The headline in last week's Arizona Republic says it all: "Wal-Mart Runs into Buzz Saw". Planning Officials in Chandler, Arizona ripped a Wal-Mart proposal to shreds, when they voted 7-0 to reject a proposed 211,000 s.f. supercenter at the northeastern corner of Queen Creek and Alma School. The Chandler defeat for Wal-Mart is just part of a "slew of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment that has swept through the east Valley neighborhoods recently" according to The Arizona Republic. Chandler's battle dates back more than a year ago, when more than 1,000 residents revved up the buzz saw at a public hearing. Earlier this year (see Feb 18, 1999 and April 5, 1999 newsflash, below) Wal-Mart scrapped its plans for Gilbert, AZ, and Wal-Mart plans are being challenged by an uprising of citizens in Yuma and Mesa, AZ as well. In Chandler, the Concerned Citizens of Southwest Chandler formed to stop Wal-Mart, gathered the support of 4,000 residents who said the supercenter would reduce area property values. Wal-Mart's response was typical of a company that has just been shredded. "We felt like we met the criteria as outlined by the city," said spokesperson Daphne Davis. And the development company that planned the superstore added: "We sacrificed some very important economic opportunities on this site plan." The site plan had changed several times during the hearing process, including the deletion of a proposed gas station from the Wal-Mart parking lot, and the deep-sixing of a fast food restaurant as well. But it was the neighbors of this huge project that stood to lose more economically than Wal-Mart, according to many area residents. One resident told the newspaper she did not see how 3 grocery stores at one intersection could possibly survive. The overflow crowd outside of the hearing room held signs that read: "Be Smart, No Wal-Mart!"

What you can do: The buzz saw story is not over yet. The Chandler City Council will vote on the Planning & Zoning Commission's recommendation at its meeting on August 26th. "It's not a Wal-Mart area," one resident from the nearby Ocotillo community concluded. "It's a residential area. That's why we moved here." For further information about the Wal-Mart's buzz cut in Chandler, contact sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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