Loveland City Council voted 5-3 on Tuesday to facilitate residential and commercial development at the southeast corner of US 287 and Colorado 402.
Their vote formalized changes to a previously approved land use plan and annexation agreement for the site, as well as exceptions to city rules governing oil and gas well setbacks.
Most of the board’s discussions on Tuesday focused on the proximity of three oil and gas facilities. Two wells, Miltenberger Nos. 1 and 2, were plugged with concrete and abandoned in 1990 and 2005. Council members voted to reduce the setback from 500 feet to 100 feet for these wells.
A third well to the south, Dunning No. 1, has been classified as “temporarily abandoned” since September 2020, but meets the city’s setback rules.
The South Village development would include 23 acres of commercial development, 46.8 acres of attached and detached single-family dwellings and approximately 11.6 acres of multi-family dwellings.
Mayor Jacki Marsh and Councilors Rob Molloy and Andrea Samson voted against the changes, and Councilor Rich Ball was out on Tuesday night.
Marsh questioned the location of the oil and gas sites. She and Rob Molloy have also spoken out against using metro districts to raise funds for building improvements in development.
Samson opposed one of the amendments allowing the developer to contribute $ 700,000 to the city’s Community Housing Development Fund instead of planning the development so that 20% of the units built are affordable for households earning 60. % of the region’s median income.
An amendment proposed by Samson that would have changed the calculation of the payment in lieu, increasing it to $ 1,005,794, failed 3-5, with herself, Marsh and Molloy in favor.
Loveland oil and gas attorney Matt Sura and Taylor Heffner of development consultant Phoenix Abandonment gave more information on plugged wells. Heffner said the two were “connected in much the same way.”
Miltenberger # 1 includes 431 feet of cement on the “productive area” of the well, and # 2 includes 285 feet on the same area. However, No.2 does not have a second plug protecting the aquifer around this wellbore, which could hypothetically be a problem if another oil and gas developer starts horizontal operations nearby.
“Really, No. 2 is the one that is causing some concern,” Heffner said. “It would be highly unlikely that fracking would even hit them, but those two barriers flow before the aquifer, which is what the state is looking for.”
Sura told the board the developer would be obligated to follow Heffner’s recommendations, which included adding a second plug to the well and testing the soil around plugged sites to make sure gases did not leak from the wells. .
Project sponsor Michael Blumenthal previously told the council the first homes could be sold in South Village by the end of 2022.