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Posted on: May 24, 2019

5/24/2019 Update on Proposed Oil and Gas Ordinance

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The following is an update on the status of the proposed ordinance regarding non-conventional oil and gas drilling.  When reading through, please note that if you click on any text that is underlined and in gold, it will take you directly to that document.  To aid in this process, we have reposted our prior updates dated February 25 and April 25.  If you have not already done so, we encourage you to read those updates to get some background on the process.  We also recommend you review the minutes of prior Borough Council and Planning Commission meetings.

At the Planning Commission’s May 14th meeting, the Planning Commission took additional public comment and reviewed a list of eleven potential revisions to the ordinance as compiled by Attorney Amy Sable based on comments submitted by residents and input from the Planning Commission and Council.  When reviewing this list, you should note that under Item 5 on the list, the Planning Commission chose 2,000 feet as their recommendation for the setback.  Item 11 includes a revised overlay district map that changes the eastern and western boundaries of the district.  The Planning Commission voted to recommend the eleven revisions be considered by Borough Council.

At the May 15th Borough Council regular meeting, Council continued the Public Hearing from March 20th.  While not required by law, Council allowed individuals who spoke at the March 20th meeting to again speak, without any time limit.  In addition, Attorney Sable introduced the revisions recommended by the Planning Commission.  Council then closed the Public Hearing and announced the ordinance will be taken up in Executive Session on June 5 so that Attorney Sable can provide legal guidance.

The ordinance will next be considered at the Borough Council meeting on June 19.  At that time Council can choose to (1) adopt the ordinance as currently written, (2) amend the ordinance to incorporate recommendations from the Planning Commission and residents, or (3) repeal the ordinance. The result of each of these options would be as follows:

  1. If Borough Council decides to accept the ordinance with no material changes, they will duly advertise a Notice of Intent to Enact for a vote to occur at a specified future regular meeting.
  2. If Borough Council decides to accept any material changes to the ordinance, then the review process will start over.  The revised ordinance will be formally introduced at the June 19th regular meeting and will be re-submitted to Allegheny County for review and comments and to the Planning Commission for recommendations.  A second Public Hearing will then be properly advertised and held at Borough Council’s August 21st regular meeting.
  3. If Borough Council decides to repeal the proposed ordinance, the protections established in the ordinance would no longer apply.  Companies looking to locate in Franklin Park would follow guidelines established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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