Complaint Hearing Process and Reverse Setback Amendments Return on Nov. 27 Council Agenda

When the Oil and Gas Regulations (Ordinance No. 2067) were approved on July 10 with outstanding questions about three additions, Mayor Ahrens stated that the passing of the regulations was “a first step,” with “amendments every two weeks if we need to.”  One month later one of these amendments for Staff to seek direction from Council on new oil and gas permits was passed, but the other two amendments are still outstanding almost five months later after concerns have been raised by Council and real estate developers.

At the Tuesday, November 27 Council Meeting, Council Business Item 11d will be the first reading on the following two amendments to the Oil and Gas Regulations:

  1. Ordinance No. 2075 – Amending the Oil and Gas Regulations to Add a Hearing Process for Complaints – First Reading
  • “A procedure for residents to report nuisance complaints and be assured they will be addressed fully. After first contacting the appropriate staff, if the resident is not satisfied, the complaint will be referred to the relevant department head or hearing officer for a hearing.”
  1. Ordinance No. 2076 – Amending the Broomfield Subdivision Regulations to Increase Setbacks from Oil and Gas Well Sites – First Reading
  • “Requirement that all new surface development shall be no closer than 1,320 feet to an existing oil and gas well, unless there is written notice and informed consent from the initial surface property purchaser.”

If the amendments pass first reading, a public hearing and second reading would be scheduled for the Tuesday, Dec. 11 Council Meeting.

You can find the November 27 agenda here and further information on amendment regulations Item 11d here.  If you have comments on these ordinances at this time of first reading, please email Council before November 27 at council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org

Complaint Hearing Process

If an affected party (Broomfield resident or person within 2640 feet of an oil and gas facility) receives an unsatisfactory response to an oil and gas complaint made to the City regarding a violation of an operator agreement or a use by special review permit, the affected party may file an appeal for a hearing.  The ordinance states the required contents of the appeal, a 30 day deadline for filing after the City’s response, a 30 day deadline for issuance of the decision, and usage of either a department head or hearing officer appointed by the City and County Manager.  Please read the proposed details of the process on pages 8 – 11 here

Residents who reported a smell indicating leakage of hydrogen sulfide on November 6 were not satisfied with the City’s response.  The City has detailed the steps it took with various agencies to investigate the complaints. You can read further details here

Reverse Setbacks

Corresponding to regulations regarding the siting of new wells in the Oil and Gas Regulations, the proposed amendment seeks to regulate siting of new real estate developments near existing or proposed oil and gas facilities.  It includes “a written notice that will be recorded against the title of lots within 1,320 feet of an existing or proposed oil or gas well, when a dwelling unit or school could be built on such lot.”  It defines “proposed” as having a Form 2 or Form 2A drilling permit submitted to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which is very far along in the planning process.

On August 14, attorneys for McWhinney Real Estate Services submitted a letter to the City objecting to an earlier ordinance version (see pages 4-7).  It included the map shown below or found here showing the impact the ordinance would have on its real estate development, according to McWhinney.  The Staff stated that they consulted McWhinney in drafting the current version of the ordinance but it is not clear at this time if the real estate developer still has objections.