Moon group appeals Wal-Mart permit

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The proposed Wal-Mart Super Center on the West Hills Shopping Center site on University Boulevard has completed Moon's land use approval process.

Solicitor Tim Bish updated supervisors Feb. 5, saying that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued the highway occupancy permits in December for the traffic improvements related to the proposed development.

In January, the MoonFirst neighborhood group appealed the issuance of the permits. Mr. Bish said that MoonFirst's appeal is pending before a PennDOT administrative hearing officer, who will hold a hearing. Either party may appeal the officer's decision to the state secretary of transportation. The issue ultimately can be appealed to Commonwealth Court.

"The significance of MoonFirst's appeal from my perspective as a municipal solicitor is that it is rare that PennDOT highway occupancy permits are appealed by third parties," Mr. Bish said.

He said that Wal-Mart representatives have informed him the company has decided not to proceed with construction while the appeal is pending.

"Wal-Mart and its design professionals are continuing to work on the construction plans for the project and have been in contact with township officials regarding those issues," he said. No Wal-Mart representatives attended the meeting.

The retailer plans to construct a Super Center on the site of the West Hills Shopping Center, which has been leveled.

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