Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weigh in on drilling the Ranch

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Colorado Springs is a new area for oil and gas drilling.
The city government may not be able to stop oil and gas drilling, or even control it very much.

But there's still an opportunity for Colorado Springs to exercise some control over an industry that's gone hog wild in other communities, leading to environmental degradation and health concerns.

The city is still formulating its response to the apparent boom that's about to hit the former Banning Lewis Ranch housing development site on the city's north side. And the good news is that elected officials want the public to weigh in.

Take them up on the offer, especially if you live near the drilling site.

City seeking public input on options for oil and gas regulations

The city will host a public meeting on Thursday, May 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the City Administration Building (30 S. Nevada Ave.), suite 102 to get public input on proposed options for local oil and gas regulations.

City staff, elected officials, and Oil and Gas Committee members will be available to answer questions and record feedback on proposed levels of regulation for oil and gas exploration and development within city limits. The input will be considered by the voting members of the Oil and Gas Committee, who will deliver recommendations to City Council on June 12 for formal Council direction. The City Attorney’s Office will draft the regulations, which will then be presented to Council for approval later this summer.

The Oil and Gas Committee was appointed by City Council in January and met over the course of 14 weeks to learn about oil and gas exploration and production, as well as review state and local regulations. Three council members – Val Snider, Brandy Williams and Angela Dougan - served on the committee as voting members with the responsibility to bring forward recommendations on areas and levels of local regulation. The areas identified for regulation are: adherence to the pre-application/site plan process; impact fees; water quality compliance; land use setbacks; operational conflict avoidance language; zoning districts for oil and gas; high density/low density considerations; and conditions of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) operator approvals for city government.

Handouts will be available following the meeting on the City’s Oil and Gas Committee webpage at www.springsgov.com. Public comment can also be submitted through the webpage or via email at OilandGasCommittee@springsgov.com.
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