Friday, February 29, 2008

Protest on Saturday and Sunday !!

We all got letters from Cherokee Horn this week inviting us to their "Open Signing Days" this weekend. (This was the letter that included the statement "...drilling will occur regardless of the leasehold we obtain. The Northshore Club is composed of 71 acres which will be drilled.")

Uh..hold on a minute. I beg to differ that drilling will "occur regardless".

With that said, please join us in a protest on 2499, right in front of the Cherokee Horn office, which is located at 1011 Surrey Lane (on the west side of 2499, just north of Lakeside.)

Bring your red "just say NO to urban drilling signs". (If you don't have one, we'll have some there.) Or use your imagination and make your own sign. I'm particularly fond of "PLEASE don't sell Flower Mound to Cherokee Horn for pennies per day!!!" You also might want to wear a red shirt, wear a funny hat, or anything that you can think of that will draw attention to our signs.

We'll be there Saturday from 9:00am until 3:00pm and on Sunday between 1:00 and 4:00pm.

We've already cleared this with the Flower Mound police and so we're not going to get arrested; we're simply exercising our right to free speech.

We'll be handing out flyers to educate the folks in Flower Mound as to what Cherokee Horn has in store for us.

Please take an hour or so out of your weekend to join us. Several of us were down there this afternoon and it was actually a lot of fun. We had a lot of people honking and waving and giving us the "thumbs up".

One last thing...a group of "experienced, say NO to urban drilling" protesters from Arlington is coming to help us out. If they can drive 30 miles, then we can drive a few blocks, right????

Join us. You can make a difference!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recap Of Sunday's First FMCAUD Meeting

Thanks to the twenty or so concerned and enthusiastic Flower Mound residents who attended Sunday's charter meeting of FMCAUD!! We are off to a great start.

Here's are the highlights of the meeting and some of the decisions that were made:

Mission: To work in a legal, ethical, and civil manner to stop urban gas drilling in the highly residential areas of Flower Mound. We are not against all gas drilling, but rather that which will adversely affect the public safety, the enjoyment of our homes, and our overall quality of life.

Priorities: First, to communicate the negatives of urban gas drilling in Flower Mound along with the fact that drilling is not necessarily inevitable. Flower Mound residents do have a say. Second, to work in a manner which will allow accurate, valuable, and timely communications to go out in an effective manner. Third, to increase the size of our organization in order to more effectively communicate our message.

Other Meeting Highlights: We are 100% against gas drilling in Flower Mound's highly residential areas. We also support the efforts of the various HOA boards who are working to form a coalition in order to obtain more information related to urban gas drilling. Many thanks to the people that enthusiastically accepted assignments.

We also want to tap the resources of some of the very talented Flower Mound residents. Will you help us? We need people:
--Who are media savvy and have PR expertise
--Who have gas drilling expertise
--Who understand pipeline and road easements
--Who are attorneys
--Who have environmental expertise
--Who are current or previous town council members
--Who have IT skills, and in particular could serve as a webmaster
--Who have lived near a gas well before
--Who have real estate expertise (particularly in areas that have experienced close-in urban gas drilling
--Who have insurance expertise
--Who are motivated to work to save Flower Mound from urban gas drilling

If you are interested, you can email us here.

Our next meeting is planned for March 10th 2:00 pm. Location is TBD. Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Radioactive Material From The Barnett Shale

Here is some very important information regarding radioactive material generated by natural gas production in the Barnett Shale. Someone told me that Cherokee Horn has denied that there is any radioactive material generated in the drilling process. Personally, after the way they represented themselves on Feb. 5th, Cherokee Horn is about the last place I will look for facts.

I am certainly not a drilling expert. If this article is referring to something different than what is being proposed by Cherokee Horn, please let me know.

The article can be read by clicking here.

I find this paragraph particularly frightening:
Texas Railroad Commission rules allow the industry to self-monitor for NORM, and many operators are slow to decontaminate the radioactive residue because of its cost, industry insiders say. Furthermore, only two of nearly 200 operators registered with the commission in the Barnett Shale’s core counties — Key Energy Services and Devon Energy — have provided for such decontamination in the past two years.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Charter Meeting - Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling

The time has come to aggressively fight the proposed gas drilling in Flower Mound. While our HOA's have been engaged in disseminating information to homeowners, their goal may not necessarily be to fight the developers. In fact, their goal may be to encourage homeowners to try to cut the best deal possible, thus allowing the drilling to proceed. (In some instances developers have offered "perks" to HOA's to elicit their cooperation.)

Because of this, we are establishing the "Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling" (FMCAUD) on Sunday,February 24th, immediately after the Woodlake Estates I HOA meeting. (That meeting is scheduled for 2:30 at the Town Library and should last until about 4:30.)

Then, those of us that are willing to begin the fight to save Flower Mound are going to meet at 2900 Aberdeen immediately afterward. (For those of you not attending the Woodlake HOA meeting, please plan on arriving at 4:30pm for the FMCAUD meeting.)

Depending on the number of participants, we will likely meet outside as the weather is supposed to be cooperative.

There is much to be done and much that each of you can offer. Do NOT think that drilling in Flower Mound is inevitable. It is not, but we need to organize and fight this thing in an aggressive, yet civil and intelligent manner. This meeting is for ANY resident of Flower Mound, who is opposed to urban gas drilling. Please help by attending the charter meeting of the Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling at 4:30 pm at 2900 Aberdeen Drive.

If you will be attending, please send an email here or leave a comment so that we can estimate the expected participation. Thank you very much and see you at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon!

Woodlake Phase Neighborhood Meeting

I am told that there is a Woodlake Phase 1 Neighborhood Meeting scheduled for Sunday, February 24th. at 2:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Flower Mound Public Library Meeting Room. It is vital that as many residents as possible attend this meeting as it has far reaching effect. PLEASE, get yourselves there and bring a neighbor with you!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Is Our City Government Doing?

Someone posted that question in the comments recently. Very good question. The answer is a bit vague at the moment. Here is what I can tell you. There was a town council meeting on Monday the 18th. Unfortunately I was out of town and could not attend. However, I did hear from someone that was there and here is a summary of what they reported:

Someone from one of the HOAs in our area did speak. However, it did not seem to go over well with the Mayor as she referred comments and discussion to the Oil and Gas Board (but it is difficult to get information from them as well).

The mayor did make a good statement that single individuals will not have much say, but if groups show a common interest, there would be strength in numbers. Simple, but true. It was also clear several of the town council and employees have vested interests in Northshore club. Not sure where this is all heading, but the drilling companies are hoping enough people sign up and they can have support. There was some discussion of repairing Sentinel Oaks as a shorter more direct route off of Simmons to get to the south entrance of Northshore Club. Truck traffic would be difficult down McPherson/Elmwood with all the sharp 90° turns.

So where does this leave us?

1. I absolutely believe that we CAN make a difference, but it's going to take a solid group of us working together to stop it. I really feel that it's going to come down to whether or not the Oil and Gas board approves the 500 ft. waiver. Please see the criteria for this variance approval in this post. My understanding is that the Oil and Gas Board is the town council. Someone please correct me if that is not the case.

2. The Mayor needs to be challenged. She needs to be extremely clear about where she stands on this issue. This has too much of an impact on our lives to not have an answer. She can't just dodge the bullet by saying that it's all up to the Oil and Gas Board. My understanding is she is running unopposed in the next election. We still deserve answers. We have sent emails and have called. We need everyone else to do the same. All you have to do is click here to see their contact info.

3. We also deserve to know where the council members stand. You can click here for their contact info. Don't forget that there is an election for Place 2 and Place 4 for council members this spring. We need to make sure that this is an issue is part of the upcoming race. You can see who is running here.

Ok, you have your homework. PLEASE contact the Mayor and Council Member. Tell your neighbors to do the same. We need to know where they stand. It will only take a few minutes to type an email asking them were they stand on this important issue.

P.S. Don't worry. The statement "It was also clear several of the town council and employees have vested interests in Northshore club"did not go unnoticed and is something that I have been exploring. If there isn't a connection, I invite them to speak up now.

UPDATE: Someone has infomed me that the town council members which may be members of the Northshore club are what is referred to as "social" members. This means that they do not stand to make any financial gains from the Northshore deal. I really appreciate the information. Although emotions can run high on this important issue, we are seeking open and honest communication. We want to get this right and we intend to be fair in seeking answers to our questions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sad Day For Fort Worth

I am sorry to report that on Tuesday 2/19/08, the Ft. Worth city council voted to allow a high impact gas well within 300 feet of a public park. There are two other parks still in jeapordy. Not only did they vote to allow it, but it was an 8 to 1 vote!! So, if you think we are safe because we have parks, think again.

The city of Flower Mound has an opportunity here to step up and listen to it's citizens. Current drilling practices are not ready for urban settings. PERIOD. The gas has been down there forever. City governments are caving to the self-imposed agressive timelines of the oil and gas developers. At a minimum we need to take the time to figure out what is the true impact of the drilling in a high density urban setting.

Whatever happens here in Flower Mound, we must remember that our neighbors in Fort Worth have already paid a tremendous price. A price that can never be repaid. Even if we "win", so much has already been lost.

If you want to read more facts on this story, you can read about it on the Fort Worth Can Do blog as well as the cbs11 website.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Will They Get The Gas Piped Out

That was one of the heated topics at the meeting with our neighborhood and the developers. The "plan" is to connect to the current Atmos line. The details of how and where they are going to connect to that line are unknown. Basically, there is no plan - at least not one that is being shared. Is it going to go down the middle of your street? How can we agree to this when there are so many unanswered questions??

I just found this recent article explaining some of the measures that they can go to in order to lay these pipelines. PLEASE READ THIS.

Monday, February 18, 2008


If you click on the image above, it will expand so that you can see it a little better.

Here is an image taken from google maps showing the two proposed drilling sites (marked with an X) and the area that is within 1000 ft from the proposed site. Remember, The Flower Mound Oil & Gas ordinance requires a 1,000 foot setback from residences. This setback can be decreased to 500 feet if a) the resident agrees to a waiver or b) if the Flower Mound Oil & Gas Board of Appeals approves a variance. Also, if the homeowner signs a lease and the Oil &Gas Board approves the variance, the setback can be reduced to 300 feet!!

We are estimating the exact location of the drilling sites. Since the oil and gas developers can not or will not provide us any specifics, we have to make an educated guess based on the limited information being shared. (They also can't tell us exactly how they are getting access to the drilling site or exactly how they are going to get the gas out - but that is an entirely different post.)

Please remember that even if your house is not represented here, you are still impacted. If this drilling site is allowed to move forward, it will certainly pave the way for additional sites right next to our neighborhoods or even in our neighborhoods. We deserve more from the developers and we absolutely deserve more from Flower Mound city government. Next time you are out walking your dog or driving down your street, take a look at what is 300 ft - 1000 ft from your front door. Soon, someone may want to put a drilling site there and it could look like this...

What you should know about the Northshore drilling proposal

1. Contrary to information disseminated by Cherokee Horn, it is NOT inevitable that drilling will be permitted at the Northshore site!

· The Flower Mound Oil & Gas ordinance requires a 1,000 foot setback from residences. This setback can be decreased to 500 feet if a) the resident agrees to a waiver or b) if the Flower Mound Oil & Gas Board of Appeals approves a variance. See the current ordinance at: [It should be noted that if the homeowner signs a lease and the O&G Board approves the variance, the setback can be reduced to 300 feet!!]

· There are twelve criteria that the O&G Board has to consider in order to approve a variance. These include:
1 - The variance, if granted, will be no material detriment to the public welfare or injury to the use, enjoyment, or value of property in the vicinity
2 - Reasonable access for the Town fire personnel and fire fighting equipment
3 - The impact upon the adjacent property and the general public…are reasonable and justified
(The full list of criteria begins on page 73 of the O&G ordinance, per the link above.)

· What this means is that if those homeowners within 1,000 feet of the proposed drilling site refuse to sign a lease, and if the O&G Board refuses to approve a variance, drilling at Northshore can effectively be stopped as this will reduce the drilling site to a size that is too small to be economically feasible.

2) What can you do?

· DO NOT SIGN A LEASE!!! (Regardless of whether you are located within 1,000 feet of the proposed drill site or not; it’s going to be important to show the O&G Board that the majority of the neighborhood does not support this. Plus, even if the drillers were able to obtain the 500 foot variance, they’d still need a majority of the homeowners to sign leases to make drilling possible—they can’t drill through a “checkerboard”.)

· There’s power in numbers. Work with your neighborhood’s HOA.

· Educate yourself. Here’s some suggested links:

· Don’t be misled by the developers. The potential payments to homeowners will be a pittance compared to the risk to public safety, the potential damage to the environment, and the overall degradation of our quality of life. We are talking about pennies per day!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

From People That Have Lived Through It...

If you went to the meeting with Cherokee Horn on Feb. 5th, you got a chance to hear what they have to say. What about listening to people that have lived through what Cherokee Horn is asking us to live through?

Click here and then play the first video titled "Dirty Ol Town".

Some things to consider....

If you have been contacted by Cherokee Horn and you are considering leasing or selling your mineral rights, here’s what you should expect in return for the $20-$50 per month that each homeowner will receive:

· Noise levels so high that you may not even be able to carry on a conversation inside your own home. This noise level has been compared to a jet circling your house 24 hours/day.

· Clouds of corrosive dusts which will settle on your home, your trees and bushes, in your pool, and on your cars. When it’s wet, it turns to a cement-like substance.

· Lights so bright that you can read a newspaper in your home in the middle of the night.

· Are you prepared for this 24 hours/day for years to come? (Yes, it only takes 45 to 60 days to drill a well; however, they are proposing as many as 22 horizontal strings per well head site on the Northshore site.)


· As many as 50 truckloads of heavy equipment/water rumbling down residential streets each day.

· You can expect your property value to go down – some estimates are in the 25% range.

· Your homeowner insurance premiums may go up. Your real estate taxes may also increase.

· Gas wells are exempt from the Federal Clean Air Act and the Federal Clean Water Act.

· The EPA has confirmed that this type of drilling produces radioactive waste.

· Is it really safe to place gas drilling rigs 500 feet from residential homes in tornado alley?

Flower Mound has been rated as one of the best places to live in the US. Let’s keep it that way. $50/month isn’t worth destroying our beautiful town!

Blog Is Up

Hi Friends and Neighbors. I am creating this website as a place to organize and gather important information regarding the proposed natural gas drilling site at the Northshore Club in Flower Mound, Texas. I will be adding information as I get it. If you have something you want to share, please email me here. or feel free to leave a comment. The most important thing that we can do as citizens is to become educated on what the proposed drilling will do to our neighborhood. Do not believe everything (or anything) that you hear from the drilling companies. It is our responsibility to become educated BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING!!!!!