frackingAfter more than a year of study and debate, the Dallas Plan Commission is near finalizing its recommendation to City Council on a revised urban fracking ordinance. Donna Moorman, Senior Planner and Landscape Architect at the City’s Department of Sustainable Development, tells me it’s not a question of whether drilling will happen in Dallas, but how it will be governed.

For residents concerned about fracking, it’s good news that our ordinance is being revised, because the new draft contains much more regulation regarding safety and environmental concerns than the current ordinance. Updated language supports changing the set-back distance from the current 300 feet to 1,000 feet (recommended by the task force) or, even better, 1,500 feet (recommended by the City Plan Commission.)

Keep in mind that the CPC can recommend — but the City Council will still have to approve the revised ordinance.

And, lest you believed that recent headlines about Dallas City Council rejecting drilling on park property had settled the matter — think again. That was only one case. The new ordinance, in its current form, doesn’t prohibit drilling on park land (see Jim Mitchell’s blog at

There’s a good chance that the public hearing scheduled for Thursday, 9/26 at 1:30 pm may be the last one at the Plan Commission level, before these recommendations go on to City Council.

The meeting will take place at 1500 Marilla St., Dallas TX, 75201