Sec. 146-1207. Oil and Gas Facilities.
(A) Purpose. The city council declares that the purpose of this section is to facilitate the development of oil and gas resources within the city limits and to mitigate potential land use conflicts between oil and gas development and existing and planned land uses. Nothing in this section shall be construed as giving the city the authority to enforce state regulations, except to the extent that such regulations are specifically adopted in this section. If it is established by competent evidence that a proposed oil or gas facility fails to meet the regulations in this section, the permit for such facility may be denied.
(B) Permitted and Conditional Uses.
1. Permitted Use: A well site or oil and gas facility is a permitted use in any zone district, provided the exterior boundary of such site or facility is more than 1,000 feet from a platted residential lot, city-owned park, reservoir, open space, or golf course, and the use complies with the requirements of this section.
2. Conditional Use: A well site or oil and gas facility is a conditional use subject to the requirements in section 146-402 where the exterior boundary of such well or oil and gas facility is to be located 1,000 feet or less from a platted residential lot, city-owned park, reservoir, open space, or golf course.
(C) General Provisions.
1. Continuance of Existing Wells. Well sites and production-sites that exist on the effective date of the ordinance, or that are later annexed to the city, may continue operating without the issuance of an oil and gas permit, unless the area of the production-site is expanded or new wells are drilled on the site. The construction or reconstruction does not necessitate that accessory equipment in a production-site or a well site conform to the development standards in this section. The right to operate a well site or production-site terminates if the use is discontinued for six months or more, other than by temporary abandonment or shut-in which is in conformance with OGCC regulations.
2. Existing Accessory Equipment and Pumping Systems. Accessory equipment and pumping systems that exist on the effective date of the ordinance or that are located within territory that is later annexed to the city may continue operating without the issuance of an oil and gas permit. Any renovation or repair of nonconforming accessory equipment or pumping systems shall be permitted without an oil and gas permit, provided the work does not increase the extent of nonconformity. Any replacement of existing accessory equipment or any addition of accessory equipment shall conform to this section. The replacement or addition of individual tanks, treaters, or separators does not necessitate that the remaining accessory equipment, access roads, or a well site, conform to the development standards in this section.
3. Applicability of Section. This section shall apply to the permitting, construction, erection, maintenance, alteration, repair, and location of wells, accessory equipment, or structures within the city.
4. Conflicts with Other Provisions. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit other applicable ordinances of the city which are not in conflict with this section. If a conflict occurs between this section and other regulations, this section shall govern.
5. Permit Required. Subject to subsections 1. and 2. above, it is unlawful for any person to drill a well or reactivate a plugged or abandoned well, operate a production-site, or perform initial installation of accessory equipment or pumping systems unless an oil and gas permit has first been granted in accordance with the procedures in this section. The initial permit shall allow twinning of a well and relocation of accessory equipment or gathering and transmission lines provided the activities comply with the development standards of this section. If the twinning of a well or relocation of accessory equipment or gathering and transmission lines occurs, the operator shall file a revised plan with the planning director within 30 days. The revised plan shall show any changes from the approved oil and gas permit and demonstrating how the changes comply with the development standards of this section. When an oil and gas permit has been granted for a well, reentry of the well for purposes of sidetracking, deepening, recompleting, or reworking does not require an oil and gas permit amendment. It is unlawful for any person to fail to perform all conditions required by an oil and gas permit.
6. Granting of Permit for Unplatted Property. An oil and gas permit for a well site or production-site may be granted on unplatted property.
7. Building Permits Required. Following the completion of a well, building permits shall be obtained prior to the construction of all aboveground structures to the extent required by the building code.
8. Designation of Agent. Every operator of any well subject to this section shall designate an agent residing within the state to receive legal process, orders, and notices. Notice of a change in agent must be submitted by certified mail to the planning director within ten days of the change.
9. Oil and Gas Permit Submittal Requirements. An application for an oil and gas permit pursuant to this section shall be filed with the planning department and must include all information required by the planning department, including:
a. Site plan, (layout, access, landscape plan, fence, tanks, containment, colors, lighting plan, etc.).
b. Context map (distance to nearest structures, how site fits in relation to adopted FDP.)
c. Traffic impact study, road haul routes, proposed mitigation.
d. Water quality control plan (drainage).
e. Operations plan.
• Source of water supply (city council approval is necessary if water is supplied by the city).
• Emergency response plan (contact information with fire dept., etc.).
• Mitigation plan, (hours of operation, lighting, noise, dust, weed control, fluid disposal, reclamation).
f. Completed application form, ownership (surface, mineral) authorization.
10. Violations. If any building or structure is constructed, reconstructed, altered, or used or proposed to be constructed, reconstructed, altered, or used in violation of the provisions of this section or conditions of an oil and gas permit, the city attorney may institute any legal remedy. These remedies may include injunction, mandamus, abatement, or other appropriate action to prevent, enjoin, or remove the building or structure.
(D) Development Standards.
1. Setbacks. In all areas of the city, the following setbacks shall apply to oil and gas well sites and production-sites:
a. A well site or oil and gas facility location in an high density area shall be set back a minimum of 350 feet from any occupied building or occupied building permitted for construction. It shall be set back a minimum of 75 feet from any public right-of-way, whether existing or shown on plans previously approved by the city.
b. A well site or oil and gas facility location outside of a high density area shall be set back 150 feet or 1.5 times the height of the drilling rig, whichever is greater, from any occupied building or occupied building permitted for construction. In addition, it shall be set back a minimum of 75 feet from any public right-of-way, existing or shown on plans previously approved by the city.
c. If an educational facility, assembly building, hospital, nursing home, board and care facility, or jail is located within 1,000 feet of a wellhead or production facility, high density area rules shall apply.
d. In high density areas, at the time of initial installation or construction, production tanks, pits, or associated on-site production equipment shall be located not less than 350 feet from any building unit. Such production tanks, pits, or associated on-site production equipment shall be located 500 feet from an educational facility, assembly building, hospital, nursing home, board and care facility, jail or designated outside activity area. However, such 500-foot setback shall be decreased to the maximum achievable setback if 500 feet would extend beyond the area on which the operator has a legal right to place or construct such facilities.
2. Production-site Containment. To the extent possible, all accessory equipment shall be located within a central battery area, which conforms to the production-site setbacks. All permanent production tanks shall be located within a containment berm. The containment berm shall be designed to permit reasonable and adequate access and service. The containment berm shall be so designed to be capable of impounding an amount of fluid equal to 100 percent of the capacity of the largest tank.
3. Visual Impacts and Aesthetics. In all areas of the city, the following visual mitigation requirements shall apply to oil and gas well sites and production-sites:
a. To the maximum extent practicable, a well site and a production-site shall be located away from prominent natural features such as distinctive rock and land forms, vegetative patterns, river crossings, city-owned and designated open space areas and parks, and other designated landmarks.
b. To the maximum extent practicable, a well site and a production-site shall be located to avoid hilltops and ridges in order to prevent the appearance of pump jack and accessory equipment profiles on the horizon.
c. Electric pumping systems shall be required in areas where feasible.
d. No treatment facilities located in a production-site shall exceed 20 feet in height.
e. To the maximum extent practicable, the applicant shall locate facilities at the base of slopes to provide a background of topography and natural cover.
f. To the maximum extent practicable, the applicant shall align access roads to follow existing grades and minimize cuts and fills.
g. All facilities shall be painted in uniform, non-contrasting, and non-reflective color tones similar to the Munsell Soil Color Coding System. The colors should be matched to land and not to sky and should be slightly darker than the adjacent landscape. Exposed concrete should be colored to match the soil color.
h. Electrical lines servicing pumping and accessory equipment shall be installed below ground only.
i. After commencement of production operations, all excavation slopes, both cut and fill, shall be planted and maintained with grasses, plants, or shrubs for the purposes of adequate erosion control.
j. Upon abandonment, the site operations shall be cleaned, holes filled, equipment removed, and the land graded to return the site to its original condition as soon as weather and pit conditions will permit, consistent with applicable OGCC rules. All such reclamation shall be completed within six months, unless an extension is granted by the OGCC.
4. Best management practices (BMP). BMPs are mitigation measures applied to areas being developed for oil and gas to promote energy development in an environmentally sensitive manner. Operators are encouraged to employ BMPs where practicable. As a condition of approval, BMPs may be required for conditional uses to ensure mitigation of land use impacts from a proposed well or production site on the surrounding area. BMPs may only be required where a finding is made based upon evidence at a public hearing that such requirement would not constitute an operational conflict with the rules or requirements of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. An operational conflict exists where imposition of the BMP would conflict with the application of state statutes and rules, or would materially impede or destroy the state interest as provided in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act, 34-60-101 CRS et seq.
BMPs include but are not limited to:
a. Closed loop systems instead of open pits.
b. Recycling of flow back water on site.
c. Vapor recovery systems instead of flaring of gases.
d. Baseline water quality monitoring.
(e) Access Roads.
1. Private Roads. All private roads used to access an oil and gas production-site shall be improved prior to the start of production activity and maintained according to the standards in this subsection, which shall control in a conflict. Access roads to the production-site shall be subject to review by the city engineer in accordance with the city standards and specifications and the following minimum standards:
a. A graded roadway conforming to the city roadway design and construction specifications, including provisions for positive drainage flow from the roadway surface. In addition, cross-drainage of waterways shall be provided (in the form of roadside swales, gulches, rivers, creeks, etc.) as prescribed by an approved drainage report and drainage plan.
b. Maintained to provide a roadway passable for emergency vehicles and be generally free of ruts.
2. Access from Public Right-of-Way. All proposed access roads to production-sites that gain access off of a paved public right-of-way shall be improved as required in this section. In addition, the point of intersection with the public right-of-way shall be improved to the following minimum standards:
a. An access width of 23 feet with paved 25-foot radii at each side of the access road at the point of intersection with the public right-of-way; and
b. A minimum of six inches of asphalt pavement over the initial 20-foot portion of the proposed access road, beginning at the edge of the existing pavement of a paved public right-of-way.
3. Truck Traffic Hours, Routes. The hours and routes of truck traffic on public roads providing access to the well or production site shall be such that the trip capacity levels and road conditions are not impaired or damaged. Approval of a permit under this section may be conditioned upon the designation of access routes and hours of hauling.
4. Traffic Impacts, Performance Bond. The permitee shall be responsible for any damage to public roads caused by truck traffic accessing well sites. The permitee shall mitigate and repair damage to city roadways, culverts, and bridges that result from oil and gas facility construction and the traffic generation due to operation of the oil and gas facility. The applicant shall consult with the director of public works, or his or her designee, to determine such impacts, and may be required to enter into a road maintenance agreement, and post a performance bond or other security to fund the repair of public infrastructure as a condition on the issuance of the permit.
(F) Additional Performance Standards. All oil and gas well structures and equipment shall be maintained so that they do not become a hazard or injurious to public health and safety. In addition, the following performance standards shall apply:
1. Flood Hazard. Unless otherwise stated in this section, all wells and accessory equipment shall comply with article IV of chapter 70 pertaining to flood hazard regulations.
2. On-site Transport. All oil or gas shall be transported from the well to the on-site treatment facilities and production pits by buried pipeline.
3. Air Emissions. Air contaminant emission sources shall comply with the permit and control provisions of the state air quality control program (C.R.S. tit. 25, art. 7(C.R.S. § 25-7-101 et seq.)) and the rules and regulations promulgated by the state air quality control commission. The permittee shall employ such control measures and operating procedures as are necessary to minimize fugitive particulate emissions into the atmosphere.
4. Noise. All power sources used in production operations and pumping systems shall be electric motors or muffled internal combustion engines. Any equipment used in the drilling, completion, or production of a well shall comply with C.R.S. § 25-12-103. Any operation involving the use of a drilling rig, workover rig, or fracing is subject to the maximum permissible noise levels in C.R.S. § 25-12-103(5). For the purposes of noise regulations, all decibel readings shall be taken from the setback line from well and production-sites.
5. Wildlife Impact Mitigation; Natural Area Zones. When a well or production-site is located in a significant wildlife habitat, as defined by the State Division of Wildlife, or in a natural area or open space, as designated in the comprehensive plan, the applicant shall consult with the state division of wildlife or the city parks and open space department to obtain recommendations for appropriate site-specific and cumulative impact mitigation procedures. The operator or owner shall implement the procedures recommended by the city after consultation with the division of wildlife. The applicant shall not engage in activities that threaten endangered species, natural areas, or designated open spaces or parks.
6. Signs. Each well and production-site shall post a legible sign in a conspicuous place, which is three to six square feet in area. The sign shall bear the current name of the operator, a current telephone number including area code, where the operator may be reached at all times, name or number of the lease, and number of the well printed thereon. The sign shall warn of safety hazards to the public and shall be maintained on the premises from the time materials are delivered for drilling purposes until the well site and production-site is abandoned.
7. Fencing. Fencing shall be provided as follows:
a. Within all residential zoning districts, all pumping systems and accessory equipment used in the operation of a well shall be screened on all sides by a non-flammable privacy fence.
b. Within all non-residential districts, all pumping systems and accessory equipment used in the operation of a well shall be screened on all sides by a fence. The fence shall be constructed of non-flammable material or chain link with slats. The slats shall be painted the same color as the accessory equipment within the fence. The specific material used for the fence shall be based on compatibility with adjacent development and visibility from surrounding residential development.
c. Access through the fence shall be provided by a solid gate that preserves the integrity of the screening. The access gate shall be securely locked to prevent access by unauthorized persons.
8. Landscaping. The production-site operator shall be responsible for landscaping the perimeter of the fence immediately surrounding the well site and production-site. The specific requirements for landscape screening and buffering shall be determined as part of the approval of the oil and gas production permit, based on one or more of the following landscape criteria:
a. Earthen berm located around the perimeter of the fence and planted with turf grass or appropriate ground cover material.
b. Installation of ground covers, trees, and shrubs for screening and aesthetic purposes.
c. The use of natural screens in the facility design.
d. All plant materials shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition at all times. The operator is responsible for the regular weeding, mowing, fertilizing, pruning, and other maintenance of all plant materials as needed. Proper irrigation of plant materials shall be provided. Automatic irrigation systems may be required in high density areas if determined to be necessary by the planning and zoning commission to ensure viability of plant materials.
9. Lighting. Lighting shall be downcast, and shall not shine beyond the boundaries of the drilling operation or oil and gas facility.
10. Ponds. The use for more than two weeks of uncovered ponds for storage of liquids associated with the drilling or stimulation of wells is prohibited, unless a longer time period is authorized by the COGCC.
11. Compatibility with Approved Master Plans. The location and operations of the oil and gas facility shall be compatible with the approved framework development plan or general development plan for the subject property.
(G) Oil and Gas Permit Procedures and Review Criteria; Notice; Appeal.
1. Applications. The application for oil and gas drilling or operation of a production-site in a location more than 1,000 feet from a platted residential lot, city-owned park, reservoir, open space or golf course shall be submitted to the director of planning. The director shall issue the oil and gas permit for drilling if it is determined that the application complies with the requirements of this section. Notice of the application shall be mailed by the applicant to property owners within one-half mile, to registered neighborhood groups within one mile, and to the surface owners of the property at least ten days prior to a decision by the director of planning.
2. Planning and Zoning Commission Consideration. An application for drilling or operation of a production-site in a location less than 1,000 feet from a platted residential lot, city-owned park, reservoir, open space, or golf course shall be submitted to the planning and zoning commission for consideration at a public hearing. The applicant, abutting property owners, the surface owner, and any interested party may be heard. The commission shall approve the oil and gas permit if it finds and determines that the application conforms to the requirements of this section. Notice of the date, time, and place of the public hearing shall be mailed by the applicant to property owners within one-half mile, to registered neighborhood groups within one mile, and to the surface owner of the subject property at least ten days prior to the hearing.
3. Approval. An oil and gas permit for a well drilling site or production-site shall be approved or approved with conditions if the application complies with:
a. The submittal requirements;
b. The provisions, development standards, and performance standards of this section; and
c. The applicable requirements of the building code, fire code, and city storm drainage criteria manual and stormwater quality criteria approval by the directors of utilities and public works.
4. Denial. An application for an oil and gas permit for a well drilling site or production-site shall be denied if:
A. The application does not meet the requirements listed in this section.
B. The applicant has failed to comply or otherwise violated the terms and conditions of a previous permit, or has failed to make any mitigation or damage payments to the city required by a previous permit.
5. Failure to Comply with the Conditions Imposed on a Permit shall be Grounds for Revocation of the Permit. Notice of an alleged violation of conditions shall be provided to the permittee, who may request a hearing before the city council on the alleged violation.
a. From Planning Director. Any administratively approved well permit application, interpretation or decision of the planning director concerning this section may be appealed by an applicant, by the owner of the subject property, or by the owner of a property that abuts the subject property. The notice of appeal must be filed with the city manager within 14 calendar days of the director's decision. such appeal shall specifically state the grounds for the appeal. If an appeal is filed, the planning and zoning commission shall schedule a public hearing according to the procedures described in Article 2. The planning and zoning commission shall review the appeal based on the various requirements of this section and shall ensure that the intent and specific requirements of this chapter are met. At the conclusion of the hearing, the planning commission shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny the permit.
b. From Planning and Zoning Commission. A decision by the planning and zoning commission may be appealed to the city council provided such appeal is received by the planning director within 14 calendar days after the planning and zoning commission's action on the permit. Such appeal may be filed by the applicant or any abutting property owner and shall specifically state the grounds for appeal. The city council shall hold a public hearing on the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, council shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny the permit.
c. Call-Up Provisions. Prior to the effective date of a decision by the director of planning or decision by the planning and zoning commission, any member of the city council may move to consider the permit application. If the motion passes, permit application shall be brought before the city council as soon as practicable for review and consideration at a public hearing. The city council shall have the authority to affirm, modify, or overrule the decision of the director or the planning and zoning commission or it may refer the permit application back to the commission with direction for further information or study.
d. From City Council. Judicial review of a city council final decision can be made pursuant to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 106.
e. Effective Date. The director's or planning commission's decision shall become effective after the second city council meeting after notice of the decision is provided to the council, during which time the city council may request council review of the application as provided in subsection c. herein.
1. Generally. An applicant for an oil and gas permit under this section may apply for a waiver to a development standard if the application of this section creates an operational conflict with OGCC regulations or constitutes a taking in violation of the United States or state constitutions.
2. Criteria. The planning and zoning commission shall grant a waiver to an applicant if the commission after considering the evidence presented at a public hearing finds either of the following:
a. The applicant establishes that the application of the development standard to the applicant or the applicant's property results in an operational conflict with the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of Colorado or OGCC regulations; or
b. The applicant proves that any development standard applicable to the applicant or the property constitutes a taking or damage by the city that violates the United States Constitution or article II, section 3 of the state constitution.
3. Approval. If a waiver is granted, the applicant shall meet the development standard to the maximum extent possible, and the approval shall be for the minimum waiver that will afford relief with the least modification possible to the development standard.
4. Appeals. An applicant may appeal the denial of a waiver to the city council, provided notice of appeal is filed with the city manager within 14 days of the planning and zoning commission's decision. The city council may overrule the planning and zoning commission by majority vote.
(I) Notice to Purchasers.
(1) A seller of real property upon which an oil or gas well or facility has been located shall provide written notice of the existence of such well to a purchaser of such real property prior to the closing of the sale. The seller shall cause the following notice to be recorded with the clerk and recorder of the appropriate county:
"Notice: The property known as (legal description and address) contains an oil and/or gas well".
This requirement to provide notice to prospective purchasers and record such notice shall only apply to the transaction between the developer or builder and the initial purchaser and does not apply upon any subsequent sale of the property.
(2) Vendors of residentially zoned real property within 350 feet of an oil and gas facility shall provide the following notice to prospective purchasers in 14-point bold type on a single sheet of paper which is signed by the prospective purchaser prior to entering into a contract for purchase:
Notice of nearby oil and gas facility.
This property is located within 350 feet of an oil and gas facility.
Vendors of residentially zoned real property within 350 feet of an oil and gas facility shall cause the following notice to be recorded with the clerk and recorder of the appropriate county.
The property known as (legal description and address) is located within 350 feet of an oil and gas facility.
This requirement to provide notice to prospective purchasers and record such notice shall only apply to the transaction between the developer or builder and the initial purchaser and does not apply upon any subsequent sale of the property.
(J) Special Definitions for Oil and Gas Facilities.
Accessory equipment means any equipment that is integral to the production and operation of an oil or gas well, including but not limited to tanks, treaters, separators, and production pits.
Act means the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of the state, as from time to time amended.
Building unit shall mean a building or structure intended for human occupancy. A dwelling unit is equal to one building unit, every guest room in a hotel/motel is equal to one building unit, and every 5,000 square feet of building floor area in commercial facilities, and every 15,000 square feet of building floor area in warehouses, or other similar storage facilities, is equal to one building unit.
Berm means an earthen barrier of compacted soils preventing the passage of liquid materials or providing screening from adjacent uses as may be specified in an applicable development standard.
Designated agent means the designated representative of any producer, operator, transporter, refiner, or gasoline or other extraction plant operator or owner.
Gas means all natural gases and all hydrocarbons not defined in this section as oil.
High density area means an area shall be determined by calculating the number of building units within the 72 acre area defined by a 1,000-foot radius from the wellhead or production facility. If 36 or more actual or platted building units are within the 1,000-foot radius or 18 or more building units are within any semi-circle of the 1,000-foot radius (i.e., an average density of one building unit per two acres), it shall be deemed a high density area. If platted building units are used to determine the density, then 50 percent of said platted units shall have building units under construction or constructed.
Injection well means any hole drilled into the earth into which fluids are injected for purposes of secondary recovery, storage, or disposal pursuant to authorizations granted by the OGCC.
OGCC means the state oil and gas conservation commission.
Oil means crude petroleum oil and any other hydrocarbons, regardless of gravities, which are produced at the well in liquid form by ordinary production methods, and which are not the result of condensation of gas before or after it leaves the reservoir.
Oil and gas means oil or gas or both oil and gas.
Oil and gas well means a hole drilled into the earth for the purpose of exploring for or extracting oil, gas, or other hydrocarbon substances.
Oil and gas facility shall mean equipment or improvements used or installed at an oil and gas location for the exploration, production, withdrawal, gathering, treatment, or processing of oil or natural gas.
Operating plan means a general description of an oil or gas well facility identifying purpose, use, typical staffing pattern, seasonal or periodic considerations, routine hours of operation, source of services and infrastructure, and any other information related to regular functioning of that facility.
Operator means the person designated as operator and named in OGCC form 2 or a subsequently filed OGCC form 10.
Owner means any person with a working interest ownership in the oil and gas or leasehold interest therein.
Production pits means those pits used for initial settling, temporary storage, or disposal of produced water by permeation or evaporation after drilling and initial completion of the well.
Production-site means that surface area immediately surrounding proposed or existing production pits, or other accessory equipment necessary for oil and gas production activities, exclusive of transmission and gathering pipelines.
Tank means any container used in conjunction with the production or storage of petroleum and hydrocarbon substances, stored at or near atmospheric pressure.
Treatment facilities means any plant, equipment, or other works used for the purpose of treating, separating, or stabilizing any substance produced from a well.
Twinning means the drilling of a well adjacent to or near an existing well bore when the existing well cannot be drilled to the objective depth or produced due to an engineering problem such as collapsed casing or formation damage.
Well means an oil and gas well or an injection well.
Well site means that surface area of a proposed or existing well or wells and its pumping systems.
(Ord. No. 2001-72, 12-3-2001; Errata (2) of 12-30-2002, 18; Ord. No. 2012-24, § 1, 6-11-2012, eff. 7-21-2012)
Sec. 146-1208. Site Plans for Major Electrical or Natural Gas Facilities.
(A) Approval of a site plan complying with the requirements and procedures of sections 146-405 or 146-409, as applicable, shall be necessary prior to the location, construction, or improvement of major electrical or natural gas facilities.
(B) Final decision on an application for a site plan relating to the location, construction, or improvement of a major electrical or natural gas facility shall occur within 90 days after submission of a final and complete application for a site plan. If a decision for approval, denial, or approval with conditions has not occurred within such time, the application shall be deemed approved. The time period herein for a determination shall not commence until the planning director determines that the site plan application is complete according to the standards and procedures uniformly applied to all applicants for site plans.
(C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede any time line set by agreement between the city and a public utility applying for approval of a site plan for the location, construction, or improvement of major electrical or natural gas facilities.
(Errata of 3-20-2002, 1)