Texas: Lewisville: Council to weigh official language, drilling policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 16:08:40 UTC 2008

Lewisville: Council to weigh official language, drilling policy

BY DAN EAKIN, Staff Writer
(Created: Friday, October 3, 2008 4:10 PM CDT)

The Lewisville City Council will consider a resolution establishing
English as the official language of the city and possibly amending the
city code which sets regulations on the drilling and production of oil
and gas wells within the city. The two topics are items 16 and 17 on
an 18-item agenda to be considered at a regular meeting of the council
at 7 p.m. Monday at Lewisville City Hall. Both items have been placed
on the agenda at the request of Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Lathan Watts,
plus agenda item 15, which calls for a discussion related to
translations of city publications and translations. That item was
tabled following a lengthy discussion at an Aug. 18 regular council

At that meeting, Watts suggested that "the council should set a policy
so staff will have direction" as to which documents should or should
not be offered in Spanish or other translations. Councilman Rudy
Durham called the proposal "ridiculous" and "racist." Other members of
the council, however, expressed an interest in taking a closer look at
which documents should or should not be offered in Spanish or other
translations. City Manager Claude King said some guidance from the
council on the subject would be welcome.On another issue, the council
will consider changes in regulations for companies who may eventually
drill for oil or gas within the city limits.

The city council approved a drilling ordinance in 2006. At a meeting a
few weeks ago, the council amended the ordinance, requiring setbacks
to be 500 feet rather than 400 feet, shortening the hours for
developing a well from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and
upping the drilling permit fee from $2,500 to $10,000. The council
will take another look at possible changes in the ordinance Monday
night. City Manager Claude King has emphasized that, to date, the city
has not received an application for a drilling permit.

However, several residents in the city have been contacted by firms
offering to purchase or lease mineral rights on their property,
indicating that drilling is expected to take place within the next few
years within the city.Areas in the city where drilling appears likely
is in the vicinity of Central Park on South Edmonds and near Summit
Avenue in North Lewisville. Several neighborhood meetings have been
conducted to discuss how offers for mineral rights should be
considered as a group and not as individuals, and to discuss the pros
and cons of gas wells being drilled in the city.

The council will have a workshop session at 5:30 p.m. which will begin
with a closed session to consider economic development. Another closed
session is on the agenda following the regular meeting, to discuss
property acquisition and economic development negotiations. Contact
Dan Eakin at 972-628-4075 or at deakin at acnpapers.com. Comment on this
story at scntx.com.

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