Regulation Amendments and Environmental Task Force Selection on September 25 Council Agenda

Are you concerned about the process and transparency of future hearings for citizen complaints for oil and gas development?  If so, you may want to email your comments before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. Study Session to Council at council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org or to individual Council Member emails found here.  Other oil and gas related items on Tuesday’s agendas include Draft Ordinance No. 2076 – Amending the Broomfield Subdivision Regulations to Increase Setbacks from Oil and Gas Wells, the selection of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Task Force and an Executive Session on the proposed Crestone Gotl Pad.

The current version of Ordinance 2075 Amending the Oil and Gas Regulations to Add a Hearing Process for Complaints and Proposed Ordinance  has not yet been revised to reflect diverse viewpoints expressed by Council Members in the late hours of its August 14 first reading.  On August 14, Council Member Law-Evans stated setting up the hearing process was a “solution looking for a problem” and that she could not support it.  Council Member Shelton was concerned that citizens would not be required to identify the specific code being violated in complaints.  Council Member Groom claimed the hearing process could take up to 50% of a department head’s time.  Council Member Kreeger said that he had no idea where 50% would be coming from and, if it did take that much time, then there were real site problems that needed to be investigated.  In referring to previous discussion at the July 17 Study Session, Jean Lim (author) asked for greater transparency in the City’s online reporting system of individual complaints in order to lay the foundation for this hearing process and enable residents to recognize any nuisances or health symptoms as part of a pattern.  On August 14, Council voted to continue the discussion in a Study Session.

Draft Ordinance No. 2076 – Amending the Broomfield Subdivision Regulations to Increase Setbacks from Oil and Gas Wells is also being continued on the September 28 Study Session agenda from its August 14 first reading.  It is an ordinance amending the subdivision regulation to increase setbacks to 1320 feet from oil and gas well sites.  On August 14, Kyle Harris, an attorney for real estate developer McWhinney, pointed to problems with the mechanics of the waiver provision and unintended consequences with siting.  Council Member Shaff stated that there was no such waiver language in similar regulations in neighboring municipalities and that was the intention of Broomfield’s Comprehensive Task Force also.  Council Member Law-Evans said that she would only support a setback notice that popped up in title work.  Generally, Council felt the ordinance needed to be reworked by Staff and voted to continue it to a Study Session.  The ordinance has subsequently been revised by Staff to “require[s] a written notice that will be recorded against the title of lots within 1,320 of an existing or proposed oil or gas well, when a dwelling unit or school could be built on such lot. In addition, when a lot is first sold to a purchaser intending to occupy the dwelling unit, the seller must provide the same written notice.”

The Council schedule on Tuesday, September 25 begins with the Study Session at 5 p.m.  However, the regulation amendments are the second item listed and there is a note at the top that states, “ITEMS NOT COMPLETED AT 6:00 P.M. WILL BE CONTINUED AFTER THE REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING.”  Given the lengthy discussion at previous meetings regarding the first agenda item on “Review of Council Procedures and Rules of Order,”  it might be anticipated that the regulation amendments will be discussed at the end of the lengthy regular agenda.

Item 11h on the regular Council Meeting Agenda beginning at 6 p.m. is Council Appointments to Fill Terms for the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Task Force.  The selection by Council Members at the meeting will involve specific nominations made by Council Members from the applicant pool and then an electronic secret ballot process.  The voting record of each Council Member is a matter of public record and may be obtained by request from the City Manager the next day.

11 Community Members will be chosen from among these applicants:  Luc Almony, Darla Arians, Leah Byers, Carol Coates, Neha Deshpande, Kjersti Drott, Catherine Drumheller, Judy Enderle, Adam Evearitt, Timothy Flanagan, Jade Glaister, David Gustin, Nancy Hedberg, Amy Hendrickson, Heidi Henkel, Aaron Heun, Eileen Hoover, John Hubbard, Capri Huffman, Anoushka Jani, Judith Kelly, Alexis Kerrane, Leily Kohistani, Joshua Kollaja, Danielle Landherr, Ann Lessem, Casey Martin, Emma Mowry, Robert Nagle, Scott Norris, Alejandra Palacios, Robert Pearson, Kerry Pettis, Jared Pray, Patrick Tennyson, Kalia Thomas, Kelsey Valois, and Lois Vanderkooi.

Item 7c is a Request for Executive Session for Legal Advice Regarding COGCC’s Decision Approving Crestone Peak Resources Operating, LLC Oil and Gas Spacing Unit Applications.  Crestone’s Gotl Pad drilling permits are currently pending on the COGCC permit site.  On February 23, 2018, Crestone filed an oil and gas development application with Broomfield for a Use by Special Review process.  The application describes two 13-well pads located east of I-25, approximately one mile north of E. 168th Avenue, and one quarter mile west of County Road 11.  You can see a site map here.