Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Draft ordinance needs overhaul

Last night, about forty dedicated citizens gathered to review the draft gas drilling ordinance and generate ideas for how to improve it.

There was one clear take home message: The draft ordinance is inadequate. It gets an F. We need to do better. Our City Council needs to know that we can do better and we need to show them how.

The draft does not sufficiently take into account even the official Gas Well Task Force recommendations, let alone other recommendations from DAG or the minority report. It also fails to adopt many of the proven ideas from better ordinances on the Barnett Shale such as Southlake, Grand Prairie, and Flower Mound. It is a weak document - at so many places it takes a bare minimum approach, giving the apperance of genuine change without much by way of actual substance there. The public has ten days to digest a 42-page document of dense legalese (that is only in English).

Here is my power point presentation. It gives six key examples to show how the draft ordinance fails to account for citizen demands and fails to protect health, safety, and welfare.

Here is the handout comparing existing language in the ordinance with the new draft language. It lets you see the many ways in which the language is a watered down version of original citizen intent.

And here are the results of Gas Well Task Force approved action items. It shows that in many cases even Task Force ideas (which were far from a comprehensive or creative picture of what the ordinance can be) were not included.

It is time to go back to the drawing board. DAG will be doing so. Look for us to issue an alternative ordinance to City Council and Planning and Zoning - hopefully by November 1st.

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