Vetstein Law Group: Massachusetts Smart Growth Zoning Reform Bill On The Fast Track To Passage?

By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ 58 Legislators Pushing Comprehensive Zoning Reform Bill - "Inclusionary Zoning" Provision May Expand Controversial 40B Law With "Smart Growth" advocates strongly behind them, a cadre of Beacon Hill lawmakers are pushing a controversial bill that for...

A Tree Growing Over a Property Line Belongs to Both Neighbors, According to Our Neighbors Up North

A court in Toronto, citing the Ontario Forestry Act, has ruled that a large tree that extended over the boundary between two parcels is not the sole property of the owner where the tree has its roots. This ruling prevents one owner from arbitrarily and unilaterally removing a tree that straddles a property...

Ballard Spahr Legal Alert: Supreme Court Ruling May Lead to More Landowner Challenges of Land Use Regulations, Fees

By the Ballard Spahr LLP Zoning and Land Use Team The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in a long-running land use case holding that “extortionate demands” by the local government entity constituted illegal interference with a property owner/developer’s right to just...

Babst Calland: Allegheny County Council Rejects Proposal To Ban Drilling In County Parks

By Matthew L. Lambach The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Allegheny County Council rejected a proposed three-year moratorium on natural gas drilling within county parks. The measure failed 2-9, with four council members abstaining because of conflicts of interest. The bill was originally proposed...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides Act 13 Zoning Case

By Lawrence H. Baumiller The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that several critical provisions of Act 13, the General Assembly’s 2012 comprehensive update to the former Oil and Gas Act, are unconstitutional. In addition to invalidating a key section of Act 13 placing limits on the...

New York Lawyer Wins Green Nobel Prize

By Meredith James and Dianne Saxe. Helen Slottje, a lawyer in Ithaca, New York, was recently awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work “helping towns across New York defend themselves from oil and gas companies by passing local bans on fracking” (the US equivalent of anti-fracking...

New York’s Highest Court Hears Oral Arguments on Local Zoning Bans

By Michael C. Murphy . On June 3rd, the New York Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the authority of a municipality to ban certain oil and gas activities within its jurisdiction. The Court is reviewing two lower court decisions , Dryden, [ enhanced version available...

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Invalidates Additional Provisions of Act 13

Last month, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued an opinion, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], invalidating additional sections of Act 13 of 2012, Pennsylvania’s comprehensive overhaul of the former Oil and Gas Act. The cumulative effect of this ruling, combined with...

Babst Calland: New York High Court Asked to Re-hear Arguments in Case Banning Oil and Gas Activities

By Michael C. Murphy Citing a recently decided case in Colorado, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed a motion in early August urging the New York Court of Appeals to re-hear arguments in the case. In June, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion which affirmed local zoning laws adopted by...

Babst Calland: Pa. Zoning Hearing Board Erred When It Denied Application for Natural Gas Compressor Station

By Alana E. Fortna On September 26, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in favor of MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. MarkWest had purchased a 71.5 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania...