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Town faces another gas driller lawsuit

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On Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, Keystone Exploration, Ltd. and EXPRO Engineering, Inc. filed suit against the Town of Flower Mound and the Flower Mound Oil and Gas Board of Appeals in response to the denial of seven setback variances needed to commence gas drilling on property owned by P. R. Smith in western Flower Mound near Grapevine Lake.

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, the Town’s Oil and Gas Board of Appeals heard lengthy presentations, witness testimony and other evidence whether the seven requested setback variances should be granted for gas drilling at the P. R. Smith pad site and after lengthy consideration, the Oil and Gas Board of Appeals denied all of the requested variances. 

In its lawsuit, Keystone and EXPRO contend that “the Board’s denial of the variance request constituted an abuse of discretion, was arbitrary and capricious, and was illegal in whole or in part.”  The allegations raised by Keystone and EXPRO are similar to those raised by Titan Operating, LLC, in another lawsuit filed in response to the denial of variances at the Powell pad site in the Lakeside Business District on the same day.
 
In response to the lawsuit filed by Keystone and EXPRO, Town Manager Harlan Jefferson stated “the Town Attorney received a copy of the lawsuit and like the Titan lawsuit, the Town also will vigorously defend the Oil and Gas Board of Appeals and its decisions relative to the P. R. Smith site’s requested six setback variances.” 

Town Attorney Terrence Welch similarly confirmed that a vigorous defense is planned and he stated “the Board’s actions relative to the requested seven setback variances on the P. R. Smith pad site certainly were not illegal, did not constitute an abuse of discretion and the decision of the Board was based on solid evidence and testimony and moreover, the impact of the proposed wells was extremely complicated by the proximity of the proposed pad site to Grapevine Lake.  Again, we are confident that the Board and its denial of the requested variances will be upheld by the trial court.”

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