Zoning Ordinance Could Stop Drilling
15, 2014- Jessica Illuzzi
City Solicitor Toni Cherry presented a possible amendment to the city’s zoning
ordinance to the council last night, which would prevent drilling in certain
zones in the city.
drafted the possible ordinance with the help of the Planning Committee. She
said, “I don’t think you can prohibit this industrial use in industrial zoned
districts but I think you most certainly can in residential, agricultural, commercial
and transitional zones. I think it will be upheld. I think, it won’t even be
said she was tentative to make any ordinance to prevent horizontal drilling
that could have been over turned, but she is confident this amendment would not
said that the right to clean water and air guaranteed in the Pennsylvania Bill
of Rights was not enough to fight drilling companies but she now feels secure
creating this amendment thanks to the Supreme Court decision in Robinson
Township VS. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this past December.
decision ruled that the portion of Act 13 which allowed industrial oil and gas
operations to drill in any zoning district throughout the commonwealth,
including residential, agricultural and commercial districts, was
the effect of this ruling is to “legitimize the municipality’s right to draft
our own zoning ordinances and the right of the municipality to regulate uses
within those ordinances.”
Cherry said she is willing to help other municipalities make a similar amendment to their zoning ordinance.