27 Jul '12, 11am
Exposed: Pennsylvania Act 13 Overturned by Supreme Court, Originally an ALEC Model Bill
On July 26, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled PA Act 13 unconstitutional. The bill would have stripped away local zoning laws, eliminated the legal concept of a Home Rule Charter , limited private property rights, and in the process, completely disempowered town, city, municipal and county governments, particularly when it comes to shale gas development. The Court ruled that Act 13 "…violates substantive due process because it does not protect the interests of neighboring property owners from harm, alters the character of neighborhoods and makes irrational classifications – irrational because it requires municipalities to allow all zones, drilling operations and impoundments, gas compressor stations, storage and use of explosives in all zoning districts, and applies industrial criteria to restrictions on height of structures, screening and fencing, lighting and noise."