City of Rochester Hills to hold special meeting regarding proposed drilling

The following meeting announcement is from Don’t Drill the Hills, Inc. (DDHI), a non-partisan grassroots nonprofit corporation that is building awareness of the risks of horizontal drilling in high-density residential and K-12 School areas. Concerns include: property rights, property values, mortgage and insurance complications, as well as potential environmental and health risks:

A “Special Meeting” was called yesterday by the City of Rochester Hills to consider a moratorium on oil and gas drilling

TODAY, Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rochester Hills City Hall Auditorium

1000 Rochester Hills Drive, Rochester Hills

5:30 – 6:30pm

 This meeting was announced in the afternoon of Monday, August 25. However, only a select number of residents received the notice via email from the City Clerk. The notice was not even posted on the City website until after pressure from DDHI members. This situation is of great importance to ALL residents of Rochester Hills. Residents have been waiting for months for movement on enacting of oil and gas ordinances with substantive and enforceable protections.

As you are aware, oil and gas drilling has become a topic of much conversation in Scio Township, Shelby Township, Fowlerville, and Rochester Hills. Residents of Rochester Hills have been concerned about the drilling issue since discovering Rochester Hills City Council and Mayor Bryan K. Barnett signed a lease with Jordan Development Company, LLC (Jordan) on January 15, 2013 allowing horizontal drilling under Tienken Park, Nowicki Park, and Stoney Creek Cemetery.

While DDHI welcomes the idea of a moratorium, a larger concern is the City’s willful subversion of the law. DDHI is currently in litigation against the City alleging violations of the City’s Charter and the Michigan Home Rule City Act because it signed a lease with Jordan allowing horizontal drilling under local parks and a city cemetery, and for granting Sunoco an easement for transporting oil through Bloomer Park. Both the City’s Charter and Michigan statute require a public vote on such an issue. By subverting the vote and unilaterally entering these agreements, the City has violated our public trust. DDHI, on behalf of its members, is seeking relief from the judicial system by asking that the lease and easement be declared void, which clears the way for public voting on issues affecting our public land. The first oral arguments in the litigation are scheduled for October 8, 2014. Again, DDHI welcomes a moratorium on drilling, but encourages a more permanent solution from our elected officials. No moratorium can replace enforceable state and local laws and tighter regulations that will protect resident’s home values, health, and welfare.

 

 

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