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Current zoning and land use regulations related to oil and gas development were drafted more than 20 years ago. Since then, the set-up of oil and gas operations has changed, so it’s necessary to develop updated standards to consider when the City reviews new applications. The six-month moratorium gives the City time to form best management practices to better ensure public health, safety, and welfare is protected when considering future oil and gas development within city limits.
No. The moratorium is meant to allow the City to identify and create best management practices regarding how it permits oil and gas activities. It’s important to remember that cities can only grant surface land use approval for oil and gas development. Those approvals must factor in a variety of components including the impact oil and gas operations will have on residential development, water supplies, air quality, emergency management, traffic, and roads. These are among the areas the City is studying to determine if changes to its regulations are necessary.
Applications to drill oil and gas wells are also approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Oil and gas development continues to expand in our area, and the City anticipates this will only continue in the future. Evaluating and improving regulations that protect our community and its residents is a necessary step. Once we do that, we can establish a thoughtful approach to land use permitting for oil and gas development that sets a path forward for Dacono residents, the City, and oil and gas operators.
The City of Dacono believes six months will provide reasonable time to update regulations and does not at this time foresee a need to extend the moratorium. While other communities have previously, or are currently pursuing more lengthy moratoriums on oil and gas development, this is not a course the City is exploring at this time.
Yes. The moratorium only applies to new applications for oil and gas development in Dacono. Operators seeking a land use permit may still be granted one while the moratorium is in place, provided the Operator and City Council agree to an oil and gas permit through a City-approved operator agreement.