As Council Was to Take Up L.B. Houston Gas Drilling, It Retreated Behind Closed Doors

Categories: City Hall
LBHoustonMap.JPG
From today's council agenda
Council just wrapped discussing that police helicopter sale; Sandy Greyson, concerned about terrorist what-ifs, wanted it pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion, but the sale sailed through. This item's about something a little further down the agenda. As in: Last week, in the comments of this item about that meat-the-mayor dinner with the council scheduled during the gas drilling task force's public hearing, a reader said well of course Scott Griggs was ditching the BBQ for the meeting since "Griggs represents the only district where drilling is proposed." Referring, of course, to XTO Energy's lease at Hensley Field in far western Oak Cliff.

But, no. Griggs's isn't the only district where drilling is proposed. Matter of fact, you need look no further than today's council agenda to see the other lease: Trinity East Energy's proposal to drill, baby, drill at L.B. Houston Park, as you can see in the map at right. Trinity East had its lease extended in June while the task force figures out how to rewrite the drilling ordinance. Still, for some reason, it was scheduled to come before the council this morning as Consent Agenda Item No. 20:
"Authorize a public hearing to be held on September 14, 2011 to receive public comments concerning the surface use of two locations at L.B. Houston Park, from Royal Lane to Northwest Highway (golf course and gun range site) for natural gas drilling and mineral production by Trinity East Energy, LLC."
But, moments ago, Monica Alonzo -- in whose district that property sits -- put a stop to that, at least temporarily. She asked the council to retreat behind closed doors, in executive session with City Attorney Tom Perkins, to discuss the item. Mayor Mike said it oughta take 10, 15 minutes. What happens next? Not sure yet. Till then, read the agenda item after the jump.

Update at 10:20 a.m.: Council reconvened at 10:17 a.m., at which point Alonzo moved to hold the item till 30 days till after the council votes on its gas-drilling ordinance rewrite. Griggs seconded that emotion, then asked Tom Perkins: "Why is this item on the agenda at this time?" The city attorney said there's "a state law that requires a public hearing to address the issues associated with the protection of park land ... for non-park land uses." He then said the hearing can be delayed till after the task force makes its recommendations to the council. Council then voted to defer the item till then. Boom. LB Houston Gas Drilling

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7 comments
TimCov
TimCov

I know this area pretty well. I use the mountain bike trails nearby and the gun clubs facilities (archery range and shotgun ranges). This area is really prone to flooding. Is it wise to place drilling operations there?

Mark in Austin
Mark in Austin

Just read this story.  Makes my heart hurt.  I also just watched Gas Land last weekend - a documentary on natural gas/hydraulic fracturing drilling that will make you want to tear your hair out.  It starts in Pennsylvania.  The climax occurs in Colorado and Wyoming, but the concluded argument at the end is Fort Worth.

There are not very many green or open spaces in Dallas.  I am not sure you should classify a public golf course as green space or open space, but for a teenager in Dallas in the 1980's it qualified.  

Mother would drop me off there twice a week in the late afternoons or weekends.  I would play 18 to 36 holes.  I never got any good, but I really enjoyed the time.

Now the bastards are going to ruin it.

Edgar
Edgar

Sorry, Mark in Austin, but a couple of small-footprint gas wells are far less disruptive to park purposes than the GUN RANGE right next door that can be heard clearly from about 22 of the 36 holes.

texaspainter
texaspainter

Gun range or emissions, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Speaking of that, will it be possible for a stray bullet from the range to hit a gas well?  You would hope they've thought of that, but this is Dallas... 

TimCov
TimCov

Not likely (based on the map). The pistol and rifle ranges are all north of the indicated location and point northward with extremely tall berms and intermediate barriers all along the range. Most the shotgun ranges also point north. Also, the allowed ammo on the shotgun ranges has about a maximum distance of 100 yards of flight.

In my opinion, the Elm Fork shooting range is one of the best designed ranges in the DFW area.

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