Silt officials back off resource ordinance
By Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff
Silt leaders decided Monday to back off on their attempts to create an ordinance regulating oil and natural gas development within town limits.
Silt Mayor John Evans said that although the item was continued from Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting until the board’s next meeting on May 24, it became clear during the discussion that an ordinance wouldn’t be the trustees’ desire.
“We were looking at changing the code. A lot of local communities are concerned about oil and gas development,” Evans said. “There’s been numerous counties and small communities who have gone to the lengths of writing an ordinance.”
But when challenged in court, those county and municipal ordinances have not stood up. Instead, rules made by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state agency that oversees oil and natural gas development, are seen by courts as the ones that count.
“The oil and gas commission pre-empts the local ordinances,” Evans said.
The idea of drafting an ordinance to control oil and gas development in Silt was first discussed in 2003, but was tabled, Evans said.
When it was discussed again on Monday, the board talked about taking a different approach.
“We think there’s better avenues of dealing with the oil and gas industry without passing ordinances that they don’t like,” Evans said. “With oil and gas, instead of being confrontational, we decided to try and get them to better understand our needs and the needs of our residents.”
Some of the board’s concerns include dust mitigation on well sites, noise and proximity to homes.
“We’d rather work together and try to work things out,” Evans said.
In other action, the Silt Board of Trustees:
– Appointed Roxan Jakary to a vacant seat on the town board. There is still one seat left, but candidates Meredith Robinson and Doug Williams tied, so a new vote will be taken at the board’s May 24 meeting. Applications from potential new candidates will be accepted until May 20.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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