Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors is openly supporting the local officials and individuals challenging zoning provisions in Act 13. This fight pins the group against state lawmakers and officials, including the governor.
The group supported a lawsuit against the state from a group of seven municipalities, including Peters, Cecil and Robinson in Washington County and South Fayette in Allegheny County, along with an environmental group and several individuals, challenging parts of Act 13 that would have stripped local governments of their zoning and land-use rights regarding gas well drilling and its related infrastructure, such as pipelines.
PSATS initially supported the passage of Act 13, but has always opposed any infringement on local land-use decisions.
Commonwealth Court last month sided with the group of municipal litigants and ruled the zoning portion of Act 13 to be unconstitutional. Other portions of the act, including new environmental standards and the implementation of an impact fee for drillers, have not been challenged and remain in place.
The decision has been appealed to state Supreme Court, which is expected to hear the case in Pittsburgh in October.
PSATS filed a brief on behalf of the litigants to Commonwealth Court indicating their support for municipalities to wait for the Supreme Court decision before possibly having to revamp their zoning regulations. Commonwealth Court again sided with the litigants in that request last week.
PSATS has faced scrutiny until now from local municipalities for its lack of a stance on this issue.