A proposal by Publix to build a 50,000 square foot store on Falls of Neuse has drawn opposition from a group called Grow Raleigh Great. But now a trade group, the International Association of Shopping Centers, has entered the debate. Spokesman Joseph Lee fires back at the opposition group’s argument and what it could lead to.

But the International Council of Shopping Centers says that what Cox suggests would effectively ban new grocery stores in Raleigh.

“It is also highly probable that grocery expansion would all but cease in the city, outside of small boutique grocers,” Lee wrote. “Publix Supermarkets, Harris Teeter and Kroger almost certainly would not be able to compete effectively in the City of Raleigh given this revised interpretation.”

Lee’s report points to 11 grocery stores in Raleigh that are bigger than 30,000 square feet, and he says they wouldn’t be allowed under the proposed change. But according to the city’s proposed new zoning map, most of the existing grocery shopping centers will be designated community mixed use.