Westmoreland Zoning Challenge re H&H Wells Closer to Resolution

Huntley & Huntley has plans to drill shale wells in Upper Burrell Township (Westmoreland County), PA. As MDN reported in June, a landowner in Upper Burrell filed an appeal against Upper Burrell’s zoning ordinance that allows drilling in rural, agricultural districts (see Westmoreland Zoning Challenge Heads to Court, Delays H&H Drilling). H&H plans to drill a well near where this woman lives, and she’s arguing such drilling will violate the state’s environmental rights clause and (more importantly), “devalue her property.” The case was supposed to go to township’s Zoning Hearing Board, but all of the (many) lawyers involved agreed to instead move it to county court, making the process faster and less expensive. The only potential problem with that is the judge may decide to hold off on a decision until two similar cases are heard and decided by the PA Supreme Court. However, the judge is not waiting. A recent media report states the judge will make a decision in the case “next month” (meaning in August) about whether or not the town can issue conditional use in agricultural-residential zoning districts…

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