Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sound Familiar? Gas Wells Near Homes, Parks and Hospitals.

With all the land in Denton, why the need to drill next to homes, a hospital and a park? Rayzor Ranch is 410 acres but the developers want to drill 5 wells on 3 acres that are next to a densely populated neighborhood, a park, and a hospital. Future development include mixed use with condos, homes, apartments, and shops. Unfortunately Denton doesn't have the Oil & Gas Ordinance Flower Mound has. Let's hope in September a Denton Judge doesn't change our O & G Boards ability to enforce the ordinance. (Red Oak and Riverwalk vs The Town of Flower Mound O & G Gas Board of Appeals).

As of 10:00 pm tonight the Denton City Council hadn't got to this issue yet. Maybe they are hoping the citizens will get tired of waiting and go home.

Here is video from CBS 11 news tonight

Article that appeared in the Denton Records Chronicle today.


Gas wells sought at Rayzor
Mixed-used project might include drilling if council OKs plan

09:05 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 21, 2009
By Lowell Brown / Staff Writer
The Denton City Council today will consider the latest plans for the Rayzor Ranch development, including a request to drill up to five gas wells across the street from McKenna Park.
A public hearing and vote are scheduled on the plan, which would allow Fort Worth-based Range Production Co. to drill gas wells on 3 acres that are undeveloped inside the planned Rayzor Ranch Town Center south of U.S. Highway 380. The proposed gas well site is north of Scripture Street and across Bonnie Brae Street from the city park and a residential neighborhood.
The property’s zoning allows gas drilling if the council approves a special-use permit. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the permit in June with conditions meant to limit the effects of noise and traffic at the site.

Some neighbors are opposing the drilling, saying it will bring noise and heavy-truck traffic and lower their quality of life.
“No. 1 would be the noise; No. 2 the increase in traffic,” said Brett Darr, who lives on nearby Panhandle Street and is circulating a petition against the drilling that he said has more than 70 signatures. “You know how bad it is on Bonnie Brae already, and if you have heavy equipment going in and out of that area, those roads aren’t ready for that weight.”
Darr also said he’s worried about residents’ safety after a series of minor earthquakes recently hit Cleburne, the site of extensive natural gas drilling. Researchers are studying whether drilling could have caused the earthquakes.

Any drilling on the Rayzor property would be safe, said Mary Curliss Patton, regulatory manager for Range Resources, the parent company of Range Production.
“We’re one of the leading operators in the Barnett Shale, and we’re quite experienced in urban drilling,” she said. “We don’t see any safety concerns with drilling the well at the location.”
The site would support one to five gas wells, depending on the success of the first well, Patton said. The company would erect sound walls to mitigate the noise from the drilling, she said.

What: Denton City Council meeting
When: 3:30 p.m. work session, 6:30 p.m. regular session today
Where: City Hall, 215 E. McKinney St.
Why: The agenda includes a public hearing and possible vote on a plan to allow gas well drilling on a 3-acre site within the Rayzor Ranch development, across the street from homes and McKenna Park.

Patton said that although city rules do not require a minimum distance between gas wells and parks, the city parks department had reviewed the company’s drilling application. City parks director Emerson Vorel was unavailable for comment.

The proposed gas well site eventually could be surrounded by homes or townhomes to the north and offices to the west and south, according to a concept plan for Rayzor Ranch Town Center.
The site is just north of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton. Hospital president Stan Morton said in a written statement that hospital officials were unaware of the drilling plan but did not believe it would interrupt the hospital’s day-to-day business.

Resident John Piott said most of his neighbors on Stanley Street, which parallels Bonnie Brae to the east, didn’t know about the drilling plan until Darr started circulating his petition.
“The main rub here is that with something of that magnitude, only a handful of people were notified,” Piott said, adding that he wouldn’t oppose the drilling if the wells were moved farther from homes.

The city planning department sent certified notices of the public hearing to five property owners within 200 feet of the site, along with 22 “courtesy notices” to residents within 500 feet, according to city planner Nana Appiah in a written report to the council. A legal notice in the Record-Chronicle on July 5 also advertised the hearing.

The drilling company has secured consent to drill from the owners of the two homes closest to the proposed wellheads, Range Resources’ Patton said in a letter to the city urging passage of the plan.
She also pointed out that the proposed drilling site was designated for gas production in site plans the council already approved.

Also today, the council will consider several changes to approved plans for Rayzor Ranch, a proposed 410-acre mixed-use development at Interstate 35 and U.S. 380. They include more detailed criteria for signs; revised landscaping requirements, in part to reflect changes in road and utility construction; and new architectural standards for junior anchor stores in the retail area north of U.S. 380.

Another requested change — to withdraw an approved master plan and replace it with a conceptual plan — is still pending before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The changes are the latest requested for the development. The developers have worked to get Rayzor Ranch back on track after a change in financial backers, drainage problems and other woes delayed progress after the official groundbreaking in August 2007.
Construction is under way on Rayzor Ranch Marketplace north of U.S. 380, where a Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and other retail stores are planned.
The developers could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Today’s council agenda also includes:
• A public hearing and possible vote on a plan to allow the development of The Lodge at Pecan Creek, a 192-unit apartment complex, on about 16 acres near the northeast corner of Old Highway 77 and Shady Shores Road. The property’s zoning allows up to 400 multifamily units, according to city records.
• A public hearing and possible vote on a plan to allow construction of the Villas at North Lakes, a 100-lot residential community on nearly 31 acres at the southwest corner of Hinkle Drive and Windsor Street. The applicant, Wade Trim of Grapevine, needs a special-use permit to allow townhouses, which are expected to make up nearly half of the development.
• A discussion on closing the city’s utility customer service office at Golden Triangle Mall and extending operating hours at City Hall East.
• A report on the status of the city’s applications for aid under the federal stimulus act.
LOWELL BROWN can be reached at 940-566-
6882. His e-mail address is lmbrown@dentonrc.com .

No comments: