Findlay plans expansion of drilling zones

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A proposed change to Findlay's Marcellus Shale regulations would allow natural gas drilling on low-density residential properties of at least 30 acres. Current rules prohibit drilling in all residential zones.

Findlay supervisors had considered a 15-acre minimum, but they voted 3-0 tonight to double that area to "try to alleviate any [environmental] fears some people may have" while still encouraging economic growth, Chairman Tom Gallant said. Final approval is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Mr. Gallant read aloud a letter from resident Bill Ehrlich of Combs Road, who urged the township to increase the minimum property size to 100 acres.

"This would be a more logical number and allow for some buffer room," Mr. Ehrlich wrote.

The zoning change would allow drilling as a conditional use on nine parcels in the northwestern area of the township, near the Beaver County border, planning director Chris Caruso said. Most lots are bordered or surrounded by agricultural properties, where drilling already is allowed.

Two Findlay property owners -- with 35 acres and 251 acres, respectively -- have applied to the state Department of Environmental Protection for gas well permits, township officials said.

marcellusshale - neigh_west

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: First Published November 14, 2012 11:00 PM


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