On the other side of the table, multiple attorneys for the municipality, landowners who support fracking and a regional driller explained why the ordinance should be left as-is.
“This ordinance was not drafted to serve the interests of
In developing the ordinance,
Smith’s argument centered on drilling as an industrial activity, questioning why it would be permitted anywhere in a rural-residential district.
“Apartments are not permitted in a rural-residential district … a senior nursing-care home is not permitted,” Smith said. “So a driller couldn’t have an apartment there, but could have an industrial drill rig.”
Those residents are trying to overturn multiple rulings allowing unconventional gas drilling in all of the township’s zoning districts.
Matthews, who is also
“I’m not surprised that
The plaintiffs in the Frederick case have appealed the Commonwealth Court ruling to the
Smith said the overlay district imposed by
“My clients bought their homes thinking they could rely on this (zoning) district and what was supposed to happen there,” he said.
As it currently stands,
Smith contended the setback, which was originally proposed at 1,600 feet before being whittled down, “is just a number. It’s not based on science, it’s not based on a desire to protect people,” he said. “It’s just a number.”
Matthews said he isn’t aware of any
“These challenges are nearly always based on the idea that an ordinance has gone too far in its regulation,” Matthews said. “If the Commonwealth Court held up
Smith argued that
The challenge hearings will continue on
Click here to watch video of the full zoning hearing board meeting from
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