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Developer wants to build 700 apartments in Lafayette with promise to keep out oil and gas

Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 20:34:38-05

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — A Denver-based developer wants to turn 41 acres of land in Lafayette into a massive apartment complex and claims new housing will prevent any future large-scale drilling on the land and get rid of an existing well.

According to city records, provided in advance of Wednesday's planning commission meeting, Milestone Development wants to build a 700-unit apartment complex at the northwest corner of U.S. 287 and Dillon Road.

In a letter to the city dated December 2017, the developer touts increased tax and fee revenues as potential benefits. The developer's biggest selling point was, "Terminating the risk of the current oil and gas well being expanded into a 26 well super pad site."

Lafayette city leaders are essentially being asked to rezone the high-density housing project as a way of preventing any future large-scale drilling in the southern part of the city.

8 North LLC, a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas, already operates an existing well on the site. However, documents state Milestone is negotiating a plug and abandonment of the well with Extraction at the developer's expense. They can't force Extraction to plug the well.

Extraction would have to agree to it as a part of ongoing negotiations with the developer, according to a city spokeswoman.

“This well is currently producing oil and natural gas resources that benefit area mineral property owners, as well as producing the energy resources that all Coloradans use each day to heat their homes. We are open to productive discussions about future development of this site, consistent with our track record of collaboration throughout the areas where we operate," Brian Cain, an Extraction spokesman, said in part in a statement.

Denver7 reached out to the developer but has not heard back as of Tuesday evening. 

Lafayette's planning commission is set to review a sketch plan of the development during a public hearing on Wednesday night.

Neighbors who live directly behind the proposed development would not comment on whether they're for or against it but stressed they plan to voice their opinions to city leaders at tomorrow's meeting.