, the Public Utilities Commission appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.
The court on Thursday found that portions of Act 13 that stripped local zoning control away from municipalities as unconstitutional following a challenge filed by a cluster of communities and others represented by Cecil attorney and solicitor John Smith.
“We anticipated the appeal and we’re fully prepared to go forward and defending the Commonwealth Court’s decision,” Smith said when reached Friday afternoon.
In a press release, Gov. Tom Corbett announced the appeal.
“The provisions struck down by the Commonwealth Court are critically important for job creators who are employing more than 240,000 Pennsylvanians, for landowners seeking to exercise their property rights, and for local governments looking for guidance on how they may reasonably regulate oil and gas operations,” Corbett said. “The provisions are also integral to the enhanced environmental standards and impact fee revenue portions of the Act. Indeed, there would be no Act without each of these crucial pieces.”
The statement continued: “It is important to note that the provisions casually set aside by the court were the result of months of compromise and negotiation, with significant input and support from Pennsylvania's local government associations,” Corbett said. “Both the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, which represents 1,455 municipalities, urged passage of the law. This decision endangers the jobs of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians and deprives citizens of their property rights.
Corbett added: “It is the General Assembly and Governor's prerogative to establish policy; it is the court's job to pass judgment on the constitutionality of this policy, not its merits. Act 13 clearly meets the constitutionality test, and I am confident the Supreme Court will adhere to its responsibility in a prompt and timely manner."
To read about the court’s decision Thursday, .
To read about local reaction to the decision, .