When Experience Matters

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Municipal Law

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  • Gary L

1. Advise Township Supervisors on all phases of the Second Class Township Code, Municipal Planning Code, Right to Know Law, Sunshine Law, Act 13 Impact Fees, Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances and Case Law.

2. Represent Township before their respective Planning Commissions. Advise on Ordinance requirements; preliminary and final approvals for Subdivisions, site development, Condominiums and Planned Residential Developments (PRD).

3. Draft Ordinances, Resolutions, Developer Agreements.

4. Negotiate Leases, Loans-Acquisitions; and advise on Public Sales and Advertising Requirements.

5. Negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements with various departments represented by (Police, Fire and Road Departments) Unions.

6. For Townships with Police Departments and Unions:
Handle Grievances, Arbitration Hearings, Loudermill Notices and Hearings and Contract Negotiations.

7. Represent Townships before County Assessment Office and Court of Common Pleas on Real Estate Tax Appeals, file Municipal Liens, etc.

8. Represent Township on Zoning Appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board and Land Use Appeals to the Court of Common Pleas, and Commonwealth Court.

9. Serve as Hearing Officer over all Hearings for Conditional Uses which includes all aspects of Oil and Gas Development (Drill Pads, Compressor Stations, Gas Processing, MLVT Storage Tanks, Impoundments and Truck Depots).

10. Advise Township on procedure and Special Hearings involving the following:

  • Inter-Municipality Liquor License Transfers
  • Rezoning – Official Map
  • Zoning Amendments
  • Road Abandonment
  • Adoption of Ordinances
  • Conditional Uses

11. Handle Litigation directly or in association with Defense Counsel for Insurance Companies representing the Township depending on the type of case.

12. Presided as Hearing Officer over Police Pension Disability Hearings.

13. Counsel Township Supervisors on conflicts and State Ethics requirements.

14. Work with State Ethics Commission on Investigations and Violations.

15. Handled numerous Right to Know Appeals with the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records

Current Township Clients:

  1. North StrabaneTownship
  2. North Strabane Township Planning Commission
  3. Union Township
  4. Union Township Planning Commission
  5. North Franklin Township
  6. North Franklin Township Planning Commission
  7. Hopewell Township
  8. Independence Township
  9. Donegal Township
  10. Smith Township
  11. Smith Township Planning Commission
  12. West Middletown Borough
  13. North Franklin Township Recreation and Business Improvement Authority
  14. Canton Township Zoning Hearing Board

OIL AND GAS EXPERIENCE

1. Drafted Oil & Gas Ordinances for numerous Townships.

2. Presided over 50 plus Conditional Use Hearings and Approvals in Hopewell, Independence, Smith, North Franklin and North Strabane Townships.

3. Negotiate the removal of impoundments in Independence and Hopewell Townships. Work with DEP and Gas Well Companies.

4. Negotiated approval for use of water corrals and re-use tanks in North Strabane Township to supply water for fracking operations throughout Township.

5. Drafted a comprehensive Master Oil &Gas Ordinance based upon the Robinson Township Supreme Court case that declared portions of Act 13 unconstitutional as well as issues, and additional Court decisions issued since drilling began in Washington County in 2010.

6. Negotiated hundreds of leases and right-of-way agreements for landowners in Washington County with various gas drilling companies interested in developing the Marcellus Shale.

7. Handled Conditional Use Hearings for Drill Site projects, installation of compressor stations and Gas Processing Plant (MarkWest and Energy Transfer), mud plants, frac and impoundment ponds.

8. Negotiated numerous right-of-ways (gas lines & water lines) on behalf of landowners and municipalities.

9. Frequent speaker and lecturer for local banks (Washington Financial and Fifth Third Bank) and Continuing Legal Education programs sponsored by California University of PA (Center for Government, Law & Public Policy) for attorneys on oil and gas lease and drilling issues, the development of the Marcellus Shale and business and estate planning for landowners.

10. Worked with the following Companies:

  • Range Resources
  • Chesapeake/Southwestern Energy
  • Rice Energy
  • MarkWest
  • Columbia Mid-Stream
  • Chevron
  • EQT
  • EQM Gathering
  • Huntley & Huntley
  • Energy Transfer – Revolution Plant
  • Energy Transfer – Rover Pipeline Project and Compressor
  • Sunoco Logistics

11. Negotiated Special Administrative and Permit Fees for Oil & Gas Activities occurring in Townships from 2010 to Present.

SIGNIFICANT REPRESENTATION OF TOWNSHIPS IN PRIOR YEAR

1. Develop a wide range of Ordinances that involved the following:

  • Nuisance Issues
  • Exotic Animal Issues
  • Use of Solar Panels
  • Change of Polling/Voting places
  • Blight Reclamation (Removal and Enforcement)
  • Zoning Amendments to add uses to a particular zoning district.

2. Represented Donegal Township in a Uniform Construction Code Appeal involving the MarkWest Compressor Plant off of I-70. The Plant was built without a Building Permit and contractor failed to comply with the International Construction Code.

3. Represented North Strabane Township in an $11.5 Million Dollar Bond Issue to extend Sewers within Township in 2014 and an $8.5 Million Dollar Bond Issue in March of 2016.

4. Supervised $2.4 Million Dollar Water Line project in Hopewell Township utilizing Impact Fees, Developmental Loan with Community Bank; participation by PA American and a $250,000.00 LSA Grant.

5. North Franklin Township. Supervised completion of North Franklin Regional Park utilizing approximately $1 Million Dollars in Grants. Successfully obtained a $250,000.00 LSA Grant to assist in replacing the Crown Mall Bridge leading to Franklin Farms Road and a $250,000 Inter-Model Grant.

6. Obtained LSA Grant of $250,000.00 to remodel Hopewell Township Municipal Building.

7. Represented North Franklin Township and North Franklin Recreation and Business Improvement Authority in a Recreation and Economic Development Project in the Township which included Commercial Development of the Crown Mall, Infrastructure Development, creation of a Public Park and Recreation Facilities, construction of Baseball and Soccer Fields, Walk, Bike and Nature Trails and blending of a multi-use Park and development consistent with the Washington Crown Center and the United Washington Associates Business Development Projects.

8. Represented numerous Townships in obtaining Tax Anticipation loans, general commercial loans and Tax-Free Borrowing.

9. Advising Supervisors and Planning Commission on the adoption of a Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance in Donegal Township.

Business and Economic Development Experience

1. Currently serves as the Solicitor for North Franklin Township and North Franklin Township Recreation and Business Improvement Authority. This Authority has been given a mandate by North Franklin Township, Trinity Area School District and Washington County to implement a master plan for recreation and economic development within the Township which includes commercial development, infrastructure development, the creation of a public park and recreation facilities; construction of baseball and soccer fields; walk, bike and nature trails and blending of a multi-use park and development consistent with the Washington Crown Center and United Washington Associates Business Development Projects. The Authority has been successful in acquiring land for the construction of a Regional Park; has obtained Economic Grants and special financing in excess of $6,000,000.00 (Grants and Bond Financing). In addition the Authority paid the initial Revenue Allocation Loan of $2.4 million for the Crown LERTA Project through a Bond program with the Washington County Authority in less than 8 years. The initial program was a $2.4 million program, which has recently been expanded by the Authority to $4.2 Million to include an additional 90-acres behind the Washington Crown Center Mall and owned by United Washington Associates. This is the site of the Minor League Baseball Stadium built by Baseball Scholarships, Inc and home of the Wild Things.

2. Coordinator for the establishment of a local economic development tax assistance district (LERTA) project in North Franklin Township for the expansion of the Franklin Mall, now known as the Washington Crown Center, Kaufmann’s Department store, Hollywood Theaters. United Washington Associates LERTA Project – North Franklin Township – consisting of the Washington Wild Things Stadium (Consol Energy Park), W & J Sports Fields and Facilities, Hotels, Angelo’s Restaurant, Advanced Surgical Hospital, numerous professional and medical buildings. The Crown and UWA LERTA projects have increased the tax base in North Franklin Township and the Trinity School District by over $750,000. Collateral impact – building fees, transfer taxes, job creation, improvement in quality of life.

3. As Solicitor for North Franklin Township and most recently for North Strabane Township, this office has supervised numerous lawsuits filed for and against said Townships; involved in negotiations with North Franklin Township and North Strabane Township Police Departments, concerning Act 111 negotiations and collective bargaining agreements (Teamsters Local 205); dealt with numerous employment issues concerning Township policies, compensation, overtime and disciplinary matters.

4. Canton Township Zoning Hearing Board – Has rendered opinions on approximately 150 Zoning Hearing Board appeals in the last twenty (20) years.

5. Served as Solicitor for the Claysville/Donegal Joint Municipal Authority. Negotiated the sale of the Authority to Pennsylvania American Water Company for $2.2 million dollars. Also handled the dissolution of the Authority and distribution of its remaining assets.

6. North Franklin Regional Park – This office supervised the land acquisition, design, financing, grant applications, engineering and construction of North Franklin Regional Park. The Park is located on 25 acres immediately behind the Consol Energy Park. The Park was built at a cost of approximately $800,000. The financing included matching funds from the Authority, a DCNR Grant for $220,000 and a Local Share Grant administered through the Redevelopment Authority of $180,000. The Park includes two picnic pavilions; two separate playgrounds; a sand volleyball court; a walk and nature trail; ten separate exercise stations and parking lots that are all handicapped accessible and a pond. Additional phases are planned to develop the remaining PA American property and ponds. A joint venture program to develop the wetlands is being discussed with the Washington County Conservation District and W & J College – Science Department.

Current Township Clients:

  1. North Strabane Township
  2. North Strabane Township Planning Commission
  3. Union Township
  4. Union Township Planning Commission
  5. North Franklin Township
  6. North Franklin Township Planning Commission
  7. Hopewell Township
  8. Independence Township
  9. Donegal Township
  10. Smith Township
  11. Smith Township Planning Commission
  12. West Middletown Borough
  13. North Franklin Township Recreation and Business Improvement Authority
  14. Canton Township Zoning Hearing Board

The Benefits of Having Sweat Law Work For You

Our team has acquired well over 100 years of combined work experience representing clients in all of their legal needs. Our experience has enabled us to create results in line with their goals and objectives. There is no replacement for experience.

Our law team is consistently recognized in the legal community as leaders in ideas and pacesetters, and is considered as one of the top law firms in Southwestern PA.

Efficiency and results are more important than the hourly rate. More than a 100 years worth of total experience has allowed us to deliver results with an effort in improving our client’s bottom line.

Our clients are always close in being face to face with our legal team, as we are proud in on offering full access to our attorneys and staff. We have created a outstanding presence in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

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23 E Beau St, Washington, PA 15301, USA

Tel: 724-222-5150 | Fax: 724.222.5009