Sayre council updates zoning definitions
The Sayre Borough council Thursday adopted an ordinance amending its zoning ordinance to comply with Act 13's zoning regulations.
Council members voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance, despite the fact that the state Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of the act's zoning provisions.
The amendment adds oil- and gas-related definitions and amends section of the zoning code to comply with the act, which regulates where certain natural gas-related functions can be placed at the local level. Under Act 13's original regulations, municipalities must comply with the zoning provisions of Act 13 to receive its impact fee funding, said borough solicitor Jonathan Foster. Sayre Borough is expected to receive about $289,000 this year.
The borough's planning commission reviewed the ordinance May 28, according to chair Barbara Ault. Ault did not attend Thursday's public hearing on the ordinance, but emailed her comments to council members. Planning commission member Jan Scott also read Ault's concerns during the public comment period.
During that meeting, the commission discussed disillusion with the act in general, the threat of fees being withheld and the fact that few citizens are aware of its consequences, Ault stated.
"My biggest fear is that the fact that this ordinance has been so widely adopted will be used by proponents of Act 13 to claim that there is no opposition," Ault wrote. "Since the threat of funds being withheld is a prime concern, I would recommend that the ordinance be adopted with reservation, citing the threat as the deciding factor."
The council Thursday also adopted ordinances adding a business incubator zone, deleting the floodplain/conservation district and adding a conservation district. Council president Henry Farley abstained from voting on the ordinances, and council member Jim Daly abstained from voting on the business incubator zone as a member of the Enterprise Center board of directors. Councilwoman JoAnn Sabatura voted against the creation of the conservation district.
The council will hold a public hearing and vote on the adoption of a series of proposed zoning amendments next week. The special meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 27.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.