What’s a Gas Drilling SUP – Special Use Permit?
Special Use Permits allow for exceptions to the regular use of city property. In this case, a SUP is required to mine or extract oil or gas (per Chapter 51, Dallas Development Code, Article IV, Sec. 51-4.213(19) – pg. 150). The applicant, XTO Energy, must provide certain information as to how the property will be used, so that it meets the City’s Commercial Use provisions/requirements.
Seemingly, this is a good thing. City policy could be created to protect citizens and the City’s natural resources by requiring stricter requirements from companies seeking to “mine,” or anything else for that matter. However, back in Sept. 2006, when the City of Dallas first began investigating gas drilling opportunities, the city code stated that “no SUPs may be issued for mining on City Park Land.” Interestingly, at the end of the presentation, the “What’s Next” slide included suggested code amendments to drill on City Park Land, among other recommendations.
Wanna guess what the CoD Development Code now states? Gas wells and gas structures/equipment must meet 300 and 100 foot requirements, respectively, “except when the operation site is in a public park.” Nice.