News Article | 5/13/2010

Gas well site at Hunter Ranch may move


A compromise in an ongoing zoning case in south Denton may keep at least one proposed gas drilling site away from the Robson Ranch retirement community.


Robson Ranch residents have been fighting a zoning amendment for the proposed Hunter Ranch development because it would place two gas well sites closer to their homes. The company behind Hunter Ranch, Fort Worth-based Hillwood, asked the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission to delay a vote on the amendment Wednesday.


“I believe the reason is that we’ve actually come to an agreement with some of the neighbors,” corporate spokesman Dave Pelletier said. “We’re going to remove one of the well sites on the west side, so I think we just need some time to work out those details.”


Kathleen Wazny, one of the Robson Ranch residents involved with the talks, said no written agreement had been reached. Still, residents are “cautiously optimistic” that the well site in question — located behind Perimeter Street — would be removed, she said.


Hillwood has asked the city to amend a zoning district approved in 2008 to move planned gas well sites to the edges of the Hunter Ranch property, located on more than 3,000 acres along both sides of Interstate 35W between Robson Ranch/Crawford Road and FM2449.


The amendment would also reflect the sale of nearly 200 acres to the city for a park and the resulting decline in the number of homes and multifamily units planned for the development.


The planning commission’s next chance to take up the issue will come May 26. The City Council will have the final say.