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Proposed ordinance gives gas companies everything

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Proposed ordinance gives gas companies everything

Postby Sal » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:47 pm

Newton Township is amending the zoning ordinances to allow drilling and all related activities in all areas including residential developments.

A hearing and meeting is scheduled for May 9, 2012, beginning at 6:30 PM.  Click here for a copy of the ordinance in PDF format.

For some reason the township is hastily trying to push the ordinance through. Maybe someone got payed off.

Look on page 32 starting with section 7 forward to the end, they gave everything away to the gas companies.

I am not anti-drilling, and I am for landowners rights to a degree, but what the township is doing is outrageous.  There is no justification for gas companies to be in or near developments or business districts.  A typical Marcellus well can drill at least one mile in all directions, therefore, they should not be near developments or business districts.

Under our current ordinances these things are not permitted and I believe that the gas companies could be stopped from doing these things that the township is trying to permit because there is no justification for them to be in or near developments.

The 35 page ordinance under the disguise of protecting us from the drillers is really an all-out assault on on small businesses and gives away everything to the gas companies.  It has 25 acre minimum lot size and ridicules restrictions on minerals, natural resources, agriculture processing and businesses.

For example a farmer or landowner looking to sell some stone or top soil in most areas around here needs to get a DEP permit and have an erosion and sedimentation plan.  Under the proposed ordinance the landowner would subjected to a slew of costly numerous decrees that that would make it impossible for the average person in Newton to have reasonable land use.

Most of the prized Pennsylvania stone such as bluestone and flagstone and many other stones are produced by small businesses and mom and pop operations that would be severely impacted by the ordinances.  We need jobs not a nuisance ordinance that serves no purpose.

The ordinance was put together primarily by the Newton Township Planning agency which is full of people that have no respect for landowner's rights.

The ordinance has something for almost everyone.  If you happen to have a wetland, creek or pond on your property, you have to stay 100 feet away from it. No buildings, structures, road, parking and it goes on essentially nothing can be near it.  What is the justification for that?

So if you have a pond and you would like to have a spot to entertained some friends and maybe put patio blocks down for a place to sit.  Sorry, that an impervious surface and is not permitted.  What about a gazebo or pavilion?  Sorry, structures are not permitted. However, they will let you have a dock as long as it doesn't extend landward more that 5ft and it has to be uncovered.  I wonder why it needs to be uncovered.  Is it so that the perverts can watch what you are doing?

Now, if the pond happens to be in residential subdivision it has to have a protective easement. Here I think they are trying to protect themselves.  They may be concerned that people in the development may gather around the pond and start talking about how to get rid of the people that won't let them do anything near it  Click here for the ordinance.

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Judge Puts Hold on Law that Would Invalidate Existing Zoning

Postby Admin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:42 pm

Municipalities fought these provisions before Act 13 was passed.  On Wednesday April 11, 2012, seven Municipalities that had filed suit in Commonwealth Court to strike down the impact fee and restrictions on local zoning powers won a stay of 120 days on the zoning limits.

Specifically, Senior Judge Keith Quigley’s order does the following:

 * It prevents Act 13 from immediately invalidating or pre-empting existing municipal zoning ordinances when the Act takes effect on April 14.  According to the Court, “preexisting ordinances must remain in effect until or unless challenged pursuant to Act 13 and are found to be invalid.”

 * It gives municipalities another 120 days to make amendments to existing ordinances in order to bring them in compliance with Act 13.  Before, municipalities had only 120 days before local ordinances would be challengeable pursuant to Act 13.  They now have a total of 240 days.

The order prevents the Newton township ordinances from being challenged.  And since there are no gas companies that are even interested in drilling in the township, it is unlikely that the township would be challenged.  Therefore, there is no reason for the township to hastily push through amended ordinances.
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