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Homeowners, gas company disagree over project

Posted: 6:07 PM, Mar 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-07 20:07:52-05

Homeowners in the Indigo Hills neighborhood of Highlands Ranch are upset about a proposed Xcel Energy project that they say will greatly change the open space behind their homes.

The several acre open space serves as a buffer for homes and a Douglas County elementary school. However, homeowners are concerned that their quiet open space is going to be filled by the buzz from a proposed natural gas regulator building.

Xcel Energy said it plans to exercise an easement that they’ve had since the late 1960’s in this area of Highlands Ranch for an operation that will continue to help them move gas to rural portions of Douglas County and allow them to keep up with demand caused by expansion and growth in the county.

“Ultimately in 15 to 20 years there are going to be 45,000 people based on the number of different projects that are on the books right now, so we have to be able to serve," said Tom Henley, an area manager for Xcel Energy.

Those living in Indigo Hills fear safety of children in the area and the noise this may put off.

Henley said they’ve been working with the county to make sure this is as unobtrusive as possible.

Henley urges neighbors to understand that this building will not vent gas unless a rare emergency situation arises.

“This is going to be designed to a 50dba which is less than people you can hear from an outdoor conversation. We've got a heck of a lot more sound from the road right behind us right now," said Henley.

Neighbors of the project are also concerned that many of them are only learning about this after several social media posts.  Neighbors tell Denver7, not everyone in the neighborhood was notified that this project was moving forward.

“This is their sledding hill, this is where they sled all the time, and it's where they ride the trail behind the school and right next to the playground,” said Andria Gordon.

Denver7 reached out to the Douglas County School District for comment, as this project is just a few hundred feet from Saddle Ranch Elementary School. They said they are keeping an eye on the project and staying in touch with Xcel Energy to make sure student’s safety at the school isn’t being compromised.

Neighbors have a meeting set up with Xcel on Thursday where the two sides will discuss options for the project.

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