Neighbors threaten boycott of center - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Neighbors threaten boycott of center

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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2004 10:30 am | Updated: 6:18 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Neighbors who say a development company lied about its plans for a Chandler corner are organizing a boycott.

At a 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting at Jacobson Elementary School, 1515 N. Jacaranda Parkway, residents will be asked to sign pledge cards stating that if a third traditional grocery store, possibly a Wal-Mart Marketplace, goes in on the northeast corner of Alma School and Queen Creek roads, they will not shop at any of the businesses in the plaza.

"Somebody needs to hold Vestar accountable for coming in promising a plan that we are not getting," said Donna DeVoe, one of the residents living near the proposed project, called Ocotillo Towne Center.

Vestar Development Co. told residents and the City Council in August that it was bringing in a specialty grocery store, such as Trader Joe’s, to the plaza.

However, the company displayed a sign in February that said a Wal-Mart Marketplace would be coming.

Friday, Vestar filed paperwork that allowed it to complete the planning process with city staff, rather than returning to the council.

"It appears to me that they are trying to circumvent the possibility of the citizens and the homeowners out there having any say in what they do," Vice Mayor Lowell Huggins said earlier this week.

Thursday, Mayor Boyd Dunn, DeVoe, and neighbors Sandra Laney and Chris Stage met behind closed doors.

DeVoe and Laney said they told Dunn they want Vestar held accountable by the city.

"The object of the whole meeting was to ask what the council and mayor are going to do to hold Vestar accountable for deceiving the council when they made their preliminary development plan presentation," Laney said. "He said there were things he was trying to do, but he wasn’t specific."

Dunn and Vestar representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

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