“This ordinance was not drafted to serve the interests of
The resident committee outlined its challenge before the
Multiple attorneys for the municipality, landowners who support fracking and a regional driller explained why the ordinance should be left as-is.
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.”
Matthews also is
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, “is just a number. It’s not based on science, it’s not based on a desire to protect people.”
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
“This overlay changes the underlying district by permitting industrial drilling,” Smith said. “
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