Planning Commission deals with growing industry

BY STACI WILSON

The bulk of work performed by the County Planning Commission in 2011 involved the growing natural gas industry.

CountyPlannerBob Templeton presented the department’s 2011 annual report to the county commissioners on March 14.

Templeton said that in 2011 the planning commission reviewed 14 new compressor station plans; two meter stations; and final approval was granted to three compressor station plans.

The commission reviewed 19 gas-related, commercial and industrial land development plans last year. Of that 19, all were compressor stations or meter stations.

The number of subdivisions in the county fell for the fourth year in a row.

In 2011 84 subdivision plans were approved, creating 63 new lots. In 2007, 168 plans were approved that created 152 new lots.

“Land is worth more now for the potential of gas royalties,” Templeton said.

The size of the newly created lots averaged 10.93 acres. According to the annual report, the commission believes the Clean & Green tax program influences the lot size.

The county’s subdevelopment and land use ordinance was amended in January 2011 to include an amendment that addressed compressor station construction, noise levels and setback requirements.

Templeton said that with the implementation of Act 13, better known as the Impact Fee, the amended ordinance will require some other changes in order to meet the new regulations.

The planning commission noted in its report thatSusquehannaCountyhas not yet seen an increase in housing or commercial developments related to natural gas activity but those developments are occurring in neighboring counties but that development could soon come.