Questions for GarCo Planning Commission
As a homeowner in Battlement Mesa, I attended the recent meeting of Garfield Community Planning Commission to hear the application for Ursa oil and gas to drill 52 gas wells within the planned unit development of Battlement Mesa in phase one. The commissioners stated in the meeting that they were charged with the task of balancing the needs of homeowners with the needs of mineral rights owners. Further, their mission statement says that they exist to “… promote the quality of life for the citizens of Garfield County.”
For three hours on tour with the gas company in Battlement Mesa, and four more hours in the public meeting, all of the homeowners affected were not allowed to ask any questions. Ursa and the development director were allowed to talk for hours, and the development commission asked them questions, but the homeowners whose lives and property values will surely be compromised had to be polite and silent.
In the name of fairness, I think it is imperative that the development commission answer some vital questions for Garfield County.
Why are you allowing the potential drilling of 94 gas wells within the residential PUD of Battlement Mesa with no time limit whatsoever?
Why are you considering only phase one without demanding a comprehensive plan?
If you knew that Exxon had mineral rights dating from 1979, why did you approve plans for three 100 percent residential developments (Willow Creek, Stone Ridge and Valley View) within a few hundred feet of a designated multiple-well drilling site?
If you stand for fairness in our county, why are you refusing to hold hearings in our town, but instead insist that our citizens collectively travel over 4,000 miles to attend your hearing in Glenwood when we have all the facilities to have this hearing in Battlement Mesa?
We really need answers to these vital questions when the future of our community is at stake.
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