We Listen.

The Marcellus Shale Debate: Local Zoning or State Control?

By: Andrew D.H. Rau

If momentum forms behind a bill introduced in Harrisburg, the traditional understandings of local zoning control in Pennsylvania could be in for a major adjustment.  The legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Scarnati would provide for impact fees to be paid by Marcellus Shale drillers across the state.  But a component of the bill would also have the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission adopt a model zoning ordinance for state-wide use, limiting local regulation over drilling.  Importantly, the proposal would prohibit any local government from adopting an ordinance with more stringent standards than the state model.  If a local government went beyond the model ordinance, it would be prohibited from receiving a share of the impact fees.

The language of the legislation would require the model ordinance to allow drilling by right in all districts other than residential zones, and could limit height, noise and other restrictions unless the limits are applied to similar local land uses.

Industry and local government advocates have long debated the line between state authority and local land use control, and this legislation is the latest hotspot.

You can track the legislation here:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2011&sind=0&body=S&type=B&BN=1100

Share on Social Media
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Email

Leave a Reply

Sophisticated, Responsive and Focused.

  • “At Unruh Turner Burke & Frees, the client’s objective is never lost in the details and as a result, even complex deals get done quickly and efficiently..."

    Read More...

  • “Unruh Turner Burke & Frees has been a tremendous resource to me and my team throughout the past 17+ years. This highly-talented group delivers the...”

    Read More...

  • “Unruh Turner Burke & Frees has been a trusted source of advice and counsel on all levels of governmental law and regulation, from zoning and land use...”

    Read More...

  • "Our Trust Department has utilized Unruh Turner Burke & Frees’ expertise for several years to assist our clients with their overall estate plans. They..."

    Read More...

  • “Over the last 25 years Unruh Turner Burke & Frees has represented our residential building and development enterprise in many capacities including real..."

    Read More...

  • "Based on my long-term relationship with Unruh Turner Burke & Frees, I can wholeheartedly recommend its services to any business owner who wishes to work with...”

    Read More...

  • “We recently hired Unruh Turner Burke & Frees to handle a conditional use application for our Chestnut Street Lofts apartment project in downtown West Chester..."

    Read More...

  • “I have been working with Unruh Turner Burke & Frees for many years. They have provided legal counsel in the areas of Estate Planning, Land Use, Litigation and...”

    Read More...

  • “I have relied on the firm's legal advice to make critical decisions on handling family wealth and making appropriate decisions for my family's future.”

    Read More...

  • “… This highly-talented group delivers the highest quality legal work and brings real-world experience in a very cost-effective manner…”

    Read More...

  • "If there is an issue facing a municipality, Unruh Turner Burke & Frees is the source for sound guidance and direction.”

    Read More...

  • “…They have provided legal counsel in the areas of Estate Planning, Land Use, Litigation and Real Estate. In every one of those areas I have been blessed with great ...”

    Read More...

  • "Whether we are competing in a strong market or working through a declining market, it has always been reassuring to know that Unruh Turner Burke & Frees has both..."

    Read More...

meet our elite team
West Chester, PA
17 West Gay Street
P.O. BOX 515
West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 692-1371
Phoenixville, PA
120 Gay Street
P.O. Box 289
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-8069
Paoli, PA
43 Leopard Road, Building II
Suite 302
Paoli, PA 19301
(610) 240-0750