Professor Robertson Writes in Crain’s on Ohio Supreme Court’s Munroe Falls/Beck Energy Decision on Local Control of Shale Development

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson

C|M|LAW’s Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, Heidi Gorovitz Robertson has published a short piece in Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Energy Report regarding the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision concerning Munroe Falls, Ohio’s efforts to control shale oil and gas development within its jurisdiction. In Ohio Supreme Court leaves room for traditional zoning as it rejects Munroe Falls’ ordinances, she writes that although the court struck down Munroe Falls’ ordinances, the majority did so because they ran afoul of the state oil and gas law.  The state law gives sole and exclusive authority over the location, spacing, and permitting of oil and gas drilling operations to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Justice O’Donnell, in a separate concurrence, however, indicated that if Munroe Falls’ ordinances had been traditional zoning controls, rather than ordinances intertwined with a local permit requirement, he would have upheld them.  Robertson suggests that we will see local jurisdictions using more traditional zoning principles to protect their communities.  If so, Justice O’Donnell may join the three justices from the Munroe Falls dissent to form a new majority.

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