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May 21, 2012 9:25 PM

Neighborhood takes on Wal-Mart in court

TUCSON - The extremely long battle over the potential new Wal-Mart at the El Con Mall is finally going to court.

The plaintiffs in the case are homeowners in the high-end El Encanto and El Conquistador neighborhoods.

The city's given the go-ahead to finalize plans, but the neighbors who don't want the Wal-Mart said the mega retail store didn't go through the right process to get approval.

The neighborhood's attorney said the development agreement is based on old development rights that have expired, there for its violating the city's big box ordinance.

They're asking the judge to reverse the decision for approval. Residents said it's not to keep the Wal-Mart from going in, even though that's what they really want, but to send it back to the drawing board.

Frank Babb is head of the El Encanto Homeowners Association. He said, "They haven't complied with the law. They can comply with it by going to mayor and council and going through public process that is available to all big box stores."

But attorneys for the city, Wal-Mart and El Con Mall disagree.

Attorneys said the expiration date on the development rights is irrelevant. They also said the neighborhood is mis-interpreting the big box ordinance and that they are not in violation at all.

The judge will now look over the arguments from both sides and make a decision in the near future.

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