LC City Council to vote to allow drilling near residences

August 9, 2011 4:26:01 PM PDT
We have the latest developments non a story we've been following closely since last year. It's a battle over plans to drill near a neighborhood in League City and we're expecting this fight to finally have a conclusion.

The plans call for natural gas drilling near the Magnolia Creek subdivision.

The City Council meeting is underway. They haven't yet discussed the potential change to oil and gas regulations. If passed it would create much more protection for homeowners there.

Homeowners in the Magnolia Creek subdivision in League City are focused Tuesday night on City Hall.

"We hope to have a good turnout," said resident Jennifer Woeste.

She is among those who's been pushing for the city not to allow drilling just adjacent to their neighborhood.

"This possibility wasn't brought to our attention when we were purchasing our homes," Woeste said.

But the developer owns the mineral rights and has asked the city for approval to drill for oil and gas there.

"We've been told by one of the city council members that if we didn't want this to happen then we shouldn't have moved here," said resident Ashley Mueller.

Homeowners say its too close to them, to a day care and to an elementary school. Legally, in League City the law only requires a 300-foot buffer between those locations or a home and drilling. A Yes vote Tuesday night doubles that buffer to 600 feet.

"Taking a stronger stance on the requirements that are necessary," said Tony Allender with the City of League City.

Allender is with the city's planning and research department and says city leaders have to be careful to strike a balance between concerns of homeowners and the wishes of those who own mineral rights.

Residents say drilling here would increase traffic and noise and decrease property values in an economy where it's already difficult to sell.

This mother of two young children insists the risk is just too great to allow drilling too close.

"It's not safe. And they wouldn't want to live with that in their backyard," said Mueller.

The developer has said drilling near Magnolia Creek would have minimal impact on those living there. We'll keep you posted on how the council votes.

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