Construction on a new Moon Township Walmart in the former West Hills Shopping Center came one step closer to fruition last night.
The Moon Board of Supervisors approved a settlement agreement with Walmart Stores Inc. last night in a 3-1 vote; Supervisor Marv Eicher cast the lone "no" vote on the settlement. Supervisor Tim McLaughlin didn’t attend the meeting.
The board approved preliminary construction plans for the national retain chain in July. The 150,000-square-foot facility is to be built at the intersection of University Boulevard and Brodhead Road.
Walmart and the township had been embroiled in a months-long lawsuit about rooftop and road specifications for the building. Walmart sued the township last year to amend several conditions of the township's land-development plan for the project.
In December, a judge ruled in favor of Walmart's revisions to the project. The township appealed that ruling in January.
Township Solicitor Blaine Lucas said the agreement came after several months of court-ordered mediation. He said Walmart agreed to construct sidewalks near the facility and work to improve roadway conditions on Carnot Road. In addition, Walmart will pay $55,000 to the township.
The corporation must obtain a highway occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before construction can begin. The community organization Moon First, which opposes the Walmart plan, has appealed Walmart's application for that permit.
Moon First's Jerry Pearl last night said his organization plans to continue with its appeal of the PennDOT permit. He said he’s disappointed that the township decided to settle with Walmart.
"The township had an opportunity to file an appeal, and they decided to back down," he said. "I think that's very unfortunate."
Township officials were not able to disclose a timeline for the project.
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