Amendment approved declaring parts of Peters Township mineral extraction ordinance invalid

Published Jul 15, 2014 at 10:13 am (Updated Jul 15, 2014 at 10:13 am)

Peters Township was one of the first municipalities in Washington County to enact a mineral extraction ordinance regulating drilling for natural gas. However, later court challenges and rulings countered some portions of the ordinances. Hence, township council members unanimously approved a resolution for a curative amendment July 14 declaring a portion of the zoning ordinance invalid where it currently conflicts with the state law known as Act 13.

The township now has 180 days to study the most recent and future court rulings, and to prepare an appropriate ordinance.

Michael Silvestri, township manager, told council members the curative amendment gives the township some protection if the original ordinance was challenged in court. Currently, there are no requests for drilling pads in the township.

In other action, Council:

• Unanimously approved the final plat of the MAD-Peters Consolidation Plan for MAD-Peters Associates to combine two lots on the western side of Washington Road southbound at the intersection with Hidden Valley Road. Combined, the lots form a 1.901-acre parcel where a vacant building now stands, and where a pizza restaurant once stood before it was demolished. The current building is to be demolished. A new development is planned with the site plan to come before council soon. No details were announced.

• Unanimously approved the final plan of the Carousel plan dividing 21-plus acres at the intersection of Thomas and Johnston roads into two lots, one for 10 acres and the other 11 acres.

• Awarded a bid to General Code Publishing at a base price of $13,900 to re-codify the township ordinances. The last professional codification was completed in the early 1980s and since, the re-codification has been done in-house.

• Approved a lease for a fire engine previously approved by council. The agreement is with PNC Equipment Finance for $449,966 for five years at an interest rate of 2.47 percent.

• Approved a resolution for a grant to fund the Washington DUI Task Force administered by the police department.

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