Public weighs in on zoning and drilling proposal in Robinson, Washington County

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About 90 people attended a public hearing at Fort Cherry High School tonight on proposed revisions to zoning, drilling and farming regulations in Robinson, Washington County.

Some residents and business owners opposed, while others supported, changing the zoning ordinance and map to loosen rules on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Resident Carl Zeno was against the changes because of concerns about traffic and noise issues. “You have the obligation to protect us,” he said.

David Zurn, a commercial property owner, said the changes would promote investment and growth in the township. “The people that have worked their land, if they want to drill a well on their land, they should be allowed,” he said.

Supervisors chairman Rodger Kendall — who is a leaseholder with driller Range Resources — proposed the zoning changes after taking office in January. Zoning rules that were adopted in December “restricted the [oil and gas] industry very much,” he said.

A May letter from the five-member planning commission listed concerns about the proposed zoning amendments, including its legality, lack of control over natural gas development, instances of spot zoning and inconsistencies with the comprehensive plan that “could create controversy and potential litigation issues.”

Supervisors must vote on the proposal within 45 days.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer:

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