Monday, February 18, 2008

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!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, I haven't signed yet, but I am thinking about if they are going to drill anyways, why shouldn't I take some money? I understand that the Hilliard site just needs to meet setback requirements for approval from the city. There are probably others out there like me. This post mentioned "they can't drill under a checkerboard" or something like that. Do the drilling companies need a certain amount of leases signed in order to drill? Does anyone know how many they have in our area (I live in Oaks of Lake Forest subdivision, adjacent to Northshore) and how many, if any, are still needed to drill? According to the letters from Cherokee Horn, they have the leases from homeowners to drill. True?