Controversy continues with stalled talks over drilling in Denton

In a response to community concerns over safety and drilling rights in Denton, developers continue to move forward to allow drilling and hydraulic fracturing that some locals feel is too close to housing communities. While the negotiations to provide a decision over these rights have stalled, energy agencies intend to keep exploring whether their companies can keep holding their ground in maintaining existing rights to the leases in the city.

Following a split decision vote, the city council pledged to continue negotiations with the energy company that would support a retroactive period for the last three months.

Over a hundred members of the community vocalized their protests on the stalled negotiations and requested a temporary halt to the drilling.

Original talks resulted in a standstill months ago following a suit against the energy company filed by the city. Although the charges were eventually dropped, drilling continued as the two entities engaged in talks to resolve the issue. The energy company reaffirms its authority to keep working on the existing wells, as the original permits were still in effect and authorized by the city.

In efforts to exercise reserved rights at a local gas well, one housing developer has proposed the city council allow a zoning modification that would permit construction of more homes near the well site. The council approved the zoning change. The protesters voiced concerns to the council over lack of police response to their complaints regarding foul odors emanating from the proximity of the wells. They warn this could be the symptom of a more serious issue. One area resident was concerned with the water line running near the drill site. He stated the presence of leaks could seep into the creek running into the local lake, posing a potentially serious safety violation.

The situation in Denton is one case that points to the complexity of a real estate dispute involving developers, builders and concerned community members. Land use, zoning issues and municipal property ordinances involve complex processes that affect everyone. To ensure each case is in compliance with property regulations, there are guidelines in place the average citizen may not be aware of that necessitate the advice of a well-informed professional. In such cases like the Denton controversy, all stakeholders have a right to seek advice from a legal professional as to the adherence to the laws governing real estate.

Source:Denton Record-Chronicle, “Denton council to continue talks with EagleRidge” By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe, Feb. 04, 2014