Section 18-583 - Treatment of Land Unsuitable for Development
City of Thornton staff has created a draft ordinance to amend Section 18-583 of the Thornton City Code to add requirements for the separation of new residential and nonresidential developments from existing oil and gas facilities such as flowlines and gathering pipelines, plugged and abandoned wells, and shut-in wells. The proposed draft ordinance can be found on this webpage and a summary of the proposed regulations is included below.
If you would like to provide feedback on the proposed ordinance, please email all redlined comments to collin.wahab@ThorntonCo.gov.
Draft Ordinance Summary
The follow regulation summary is separated by the oil facility type. In addition, there are several administrative revisions to the existing language in Section 18-583 of the Code, such as, an update to production site setbacks to be consistent with the International Fire Code Amendment requirements.
that production sites have a minimum separation of 500 feet between the
production site and all proposed main buildings with an occupancy of Group A,
E, or I in order to meet International Fire Code requirements. Group A, E, and
I occupancies include assembly, educational, and institutional uses.
Flowlines and Gathering Pipelines
plats shall show easements for Flowlines and Gathering Pipelines.
Oil and gas Flowlines and
Gathering Pipelines shall have a minimum separation of 50 feet from any
building that is required to obtain a certificate of occupancy pursuant to the
Code. Measurements shall be taken from the edge of the Flowlines and Gathering Pipelines
to the outside wall of the building.
Flowlines and Gathering
Pipelines shall be arranged within a proposed development so that they cross
streets at a substantially right angle.
The start and end point of
each Flowline and Gathering Pipeline shall be marked with an indicator approved
by the City. Additional City-approved markers shall be installed at least every
350 feet along the entirety of each Flowline and Gathering Pipeline.
If oil and gas Flowlines and
Gathering Pipelines are not removed once abandoned, the abandoned Flowlines and
Gathering Pipelines must meet all requirements outlined in this subsection.
Every subdivision plat where flowlines and
gathering pipelines are located shall include a notation that states, “The
location of flowlines and gathering pipelines shall be disclosed to all
prospective purchasers of lots within a 200-foot radius of all flowlines and
Plugged and Abandoned Wells
Prior to subdivision, information
regarding environmental testing and monitoring for the Plugged and
Abandoned Wells shall be submitted. Site investigation, sampling,
and monitoring shall be conducted to demonstrate that the well has been
properly abandoned and that soil, air, and water quality have not been
adversely impacted by oil and gas operations or facilities or other
sources of contamination.
In residential districts,
Plugged and Abandoned Wells shall be located in restricted tracts, which shall
be not less than 50 feet in width and 100 feet in length. The Plugged and Abandoned Wells shall be located as
close as possible to the center of the restricted tract.
No Dwelling Unit shall be
constructed within 50 feet of a Plugged and Abandoned Well. Measurements shall
be taken from the center of the brass plaque, which permanently marks the well,
as indicated in Subsection 18-583(c)(2)h1 of the Code to the outside face of
the exterior wall of any building that is required to obtain a certificate of
occupancy pursuant to the Code.
Outdoor activity areas shall
not be located on a Plugged and abandoned well unless topography, landscaping,
or other physical means of separating the plugged and abandoned well from the
Staff is proposing that these requirements shall not apply to any development project with a Conceptual Site Plan (CSP) approved prior to the effective date of Code amendment. However, these requirements will apply to a development if, after approval of the ordinance, an application is submitted for and receives approval of a rezoning or a substantial modification of the CSP in accordance to Section 18-583(a)(2) of the Code, of the draft ordinance.