Garfield County delays decision on man camps |

Garfield County delays decision on man camps

Phillip Yates
garfield county correspondent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Garfield County commissioners delayed permitting of temporary housing at county well pads on Monday. Those rules would include allowing energy companies to establish small temporary housing facilities, or “man camps,” without having to go through a county public hearing for approval.

But after an almost three-hour public hearing on the issue, commissioners voted to continue their consideration of the matter so they can separately review the proposed temporary housing regulations and possibly return with a motion to decide the issue.

The commissioners will consider the matter again on April 7.

The proposed draft regulations would allow the industry to build temporary housing for up to eight workers at area well pads without needing to obtain special use permits ” a process the county calls “use-by-right.”

Energy companies now have to receive those permits during public hearings before county commissioners.

Most energy companies seek permission to place temporary housing on a landowner’s property through a surface-use agreement.

The temporary housing structures, under the county’s proposed regulations, would also have to meet certain performance standards for state, local and federal jurisdiction, such as providing adequate water supplies, according to the draft rules. And camps housing from nine to 24 workers would require authorization by the county planning department.

Anything larger would require a hearing before county commissioners, as the county has been requiring of camps of all sizes under its current rules.

Dick Morgan, a landowner and rancher on Divide Creek, said while EnCana works well with him ” the company has a well pad on his property ” he had a problem with “use-by-right” for temporary housing on his property. He said he understood companies have the right to enter property and extract the minerals, but that he has a problem if nonessential personnel begin “moving in trailers and start living on my property.”

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