A.C.R.E. - Aurora Citizens for Responsible Energy

A publc advocacy for sensible Oil and Gas development in Aurora, CO that we can live with.

The City Attorney's office has issued a detailed rationale as to why Administrative Waivers for Oil and Gas facilities are legal under Municipal Code 146-204B, and in light of the Waiver provision of Oil and Gas code 146-1207.  ACRE concures with the Attorney's rationale, and is satisfied that the city is acting legally.  However, ACRE believes that the city is not acting in the spirit of the 146-1207 law, nor in harmony with the wishes of affected Council members.  Further, the Administrative Waivers that are being granted will result in "Scars Upon the Prairie" for the 20+ year life of the planned oil wells due to the waivered Visual Mitigation requjirements of Fencing and Landscaping, and in light of the excessively high equipment now being installed at the existing wellpads to disguise the large amount of flaring that has been witnessed for much of Autust 2014.


Since the 146-204B vs 146-1207 controversy is quite present in current discussion, the Code 146-204B is presented in full here.   And 146-1207 Oil & Gas Regulations is available at the  above Button

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Sec. 146-204. Development Application Procedures.

(A)

Generally. Applicants shall be required to file a development application with the planning department for all the development requests required by this chapter. Applicants shall file a single development application on forms furnished by the planning department for all the development requests they seek at one time for a single area of land. Development applications shall be filed, processed, and approved or denied in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and additional rules and procedures as developed by the planning director.

All development applications shall be signed by the subject property owner and shall conform to all the application requirements established by the planning department. The planning director shall reject an application if he or she finds it to be incomplete or incorrect. The director shall inform the applicant concerning insufficiencies of the application.

The planning director, the planning and zoning commission, or the city council, after recommendation from the planning commission, shall consider or approve development applications, as specified by this chapter.

(B)

Waivers. An applicant may request waivers from development standards. The planning department shall analyze the request and make an individualized determination concerning which standards shall be waived and concerning a roughly proportional increase in other standards to mitigate the impact of the proposed waiver. Requests for waivers shall be considered following the development application procedures described in this section or in accordance with procedures and criteria described in specific provisions of this chapter.

(C)

Public Hearings for Development Applications

1.

Planning and Zoning Commission. The planning and zoning commission shall conduct a public hearing on all development applications that are required to come before it. The commission shall apply the criteria for review and approval as stated in this chapter when considering an application. At the conclusion of a public hearing, the commission shall approve the application as presented, approve with conditions, deny the application, or make a recommendation to city council, except if the applicant requests that the matter be deferred. The planning and zoning commission may defer an item for one meeting to allow for the receipt of additional information. The planning and zoning commission's decision becomes effective after the second city council meeting following the notice of the commission's decision on the application.

2.

City Council Call-ups. Prior to the effective date of the planning and zoning commission's decision, any member of the city council may move to consider the development application. If the motion passes, the application shall be brought before the city council as soon as practicable for review and consideration in accordance with the criteria provided in this chapter. The city council shall have the authority to overrule the decision of the planning and zoning commission. Council may also remand the application back to the commission with direction for further consideration.

3.

City Council. The city council shall conduct a public hearing on all development applications that come before it pursuant to the requirements of this zoning ordinance or the call-up provision in 2. above. At the conclusion of the hearing, the city council shall approve the application, approve with conditions, or deny the application. The city council may defer its decision in order to obtain additional information, or it may remand the application to the planning and zoning commission for further consideration.

(D)

Public Notification for Development Applications

1.

Written Notice. Notice of the time, date, and place of a public hearing before the planning and zoning commission or city council shall be mailed to the owner of the property affected and all owners of abutting property at least ten calendar days prior to the public hearing.

2.

Published Notice. Notice of the time, date, and place of the public hearing on a development application before the planning and zoning commission or city council shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the city at least ten calendar days prior to such hearing.

3.

Posted Notice. Development applications requiring a public hearing shall be posted at a point clearly visible from a public right-of-way for at least ten calendar days prior to the public hearing before the planning and zoning commission or the city council. The posted notices shall be of a number, size, and location as prescribed by the planning department and shall indicate the type of development applications proposed, the date, time, and place of the hearing. Posted notices may be furnished by the city.

(E)

Appeals

1.

Planning Director. Unless otherwise specified by this chapter for specific requirements, any administratively approved development application, interpretation or decision of the planning director concerning an allowed use, development standard, or design standard may be appealed. Such appeal of an interpretation may be submitted by an affected applicant, by the owner of property affected by the decision, or by the owner of a property that abuts the property affected. The notice of appeal must be filed with the city manager within ten 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 this article. The planning and zoning commission shall review the appeal based on the various requirements of this chapter and shall ensure that the intent and specific requirements of this chapter are met. The commission's decision shall be in the form of a recommendation to city council.

2.

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 ten calendar days after the planning and zoning commission's action on the application. 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 application. The city council shall consider the record of the planning and zoning commission proceeding and any new information.

3.

City Council. A judicial review of a city council final decision can be made pursuant to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 106.

(F)

Amendment of Previously Approved Development Applications. Amendments to development applications shall be reviewed according to criteria and procedures in Article 4.

(Ord. No. 2001-72, 12-3-2001)