Committee makes recommendations regarding drilling

The committee of City Solicitor Mark Jacob, St. Marys Planning Commission member Matt Quesenberry, City Zoning Officer Matt Pfeufer and City Councilman Dan Hepner presented recommendations regarding how the city can move forward to regulate future oil and gas drilling in certain areas of the city to a joint meeting of city council and the planning commission on Tuesday evening. The committee came up with the following recommendations: - Once a permit application for a drilling site is filed, the city should require written notice be given to all landowners within a certain area to allow them adequate time to have their water tested if they so choose.- The planning commission should recommend that council amend the city's current zoning ordinance to include oil and gas development and their related processing facilities as permitted by conditional use in the Rural Conservation, Industrial and Limited Industrial Zones and council should approve that recommendation.- The city should hire a consultant with expertise in zoning and natural gas drilling to provide guidance moving forward.