Centerra oil and gas meeting prompts City Council discussion

LOVELAND — An effort by developer McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. to host a public meeting to share its plans for oil and gas development on its property in east Loveland has drawn the attention of the City Council and numerous members of the public.

The meeting, originally scheduled to be an in-person meeting on Tuesday night, the same night as the regular council meeting, has been moved to a virtual meeting and will be Wednesday evening instead of Tuesday.

McWhinney called the meeting “to preview an upcoming oil and gas, and resource development effort in Centerra,” the company said in a statement. It also said that the information to be presented by company co-founder Troy McWhinney would be preliminary and in advance of an application to the city for permits to develop the resource.

News of the meeting, which now will be 6 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, drew immediate response from multiple community members who oppose further oil and gas development within the city. Emails to the council asked that the city not permit fracking — the process of using high-pressure water and chemicals to unlock underground oil and gas resources — to occur in the city.

Mayor Jacki Marsh added the topic to the Tuesday council agenda, and council member Andrea Samson submitted a motion for the council to consider that would place a six-month moratorium on oil and gas development in order to give the city time to complete work on new rules and regulations.

Brett Limbaugh, who heads development services for the city, sent an email to the council providing background.

He said that the city has been working to update its oil and gas rules in light of state legislation giving local governments greater authority over the industry. “A working draft of these city regulations including a best management practices document has been prepared and will be ready for the public to review shortly,” he wrote. After a public review, the new rules would go through the usual ordinance process that includes the Planning Commission and City Council, which could take nine to 12 months, he said.

“In the interim, the current city oil and gas review processes will be followed for any applications,” Limbaugh wrote. He also said that city staff has met with McWhinney “for several years” to discuss the city’s process but at present does not have an application from the company to consider. 

“The meeting is part of their own [McWhinney’s] process in advance of filing a formal application,” he wrote. He said that the council has the option of imposing a moratorium or allowing new applications to follow the existing rules until new rules are adopted.

LOVELAND — An effort by developer McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. to host a public meeting to share its plans for oil and gas development on its property in east Loveland has drawn the attention of the City Council and numerous members of the public.

The meeting, originally scheduled to be an in-person meeting on Tuesday night, the same night as the regular council meeting, has been moved to a virtual meeting and will be Wednesday evening instead of Tuesday.

McWhinney called the meeting “to preview an upcoming oil and gas, and resource development effort in Centerra,” the company said in a statement. It also said that the information to be presented by company co-founder Troy McWhinney would be preliminary and in advance of an application to the city for permits to develop the resource.

News of the meeting, which now will be 6 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, drew immediate response from multiple community members who oppose further oil and gas development within the city. Emails to the council asked that the city not permit fracking — the process of using high-pressure water and chemicals to unlock underground oil and gas resources — to occur in the city.

Mayor Jacki Marsh added the topic to the Tuesday council agenda, and council member Andrea Samson submitted a motion for the council to consider that would place a six-month moratorium on oil and gas development in order to give the city time to complete work on new rules and regulations.

Brett Limbaugh, who heads development services for…