4th hearing in Murrysville fracking ordinance challenge set for March 14 | TribLIVE.com

4th hearing in Murrysville fracking ordinance challenge set for March 14

Patrick Varine
Attorney John Smith gives his opening statement on behalf of the Murrysville Watch Committee on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. The group is challenging the validity of Murrysville’s fracking ordinance before the municipality’s zoning hearing board.

The fourth hearing in the Murrysville Watch Committee’s substantive validity challenge to the municipal fracking ordinance is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the municipal building, 4100 Sardis Road.

Murrysville council members voted 6-1 in 2017 to approve a fracking ordinance, which they worked on over seven years. Canonsburg drillers Huntley & Huntley soon after requested state permits to drill a 4-acre well pad and access road on 71 acres off Bollinger Road.

Committee members contend that the purpose of developing an overlay district — the designation Murrysville gave to the area where fracking is permitted — is to provide additional protections, rather than open up a residential district to what committee members consider an industrial activity.

Attorneys for Huntley & Huntley, as well those representing the municipality and landowners looking to lease their mineral rights, argued in the initial hearing that a Commonwealth Court case involving the validity of Allegheny Township’s fracking ordinance has essentially already established a precedent for the issue.

Unlike council meetings, zoning hearing board proceedings are not televised on Comcast local access Channel 19.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Murrysville
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