City council denies 3 permits for gas drilling in northwest Dallas

In yesterday’s showdown at City Hall, the council struck down three specific-use permits that would have allowed Trinity East to drill on parkland in L.B. Houston Park.

It was the first vote of its kind in Dallas, and likely will be the end of the debate over natural gas drilling.

The Dallas Morning News live-blogged the meeting during which several opponents voiced concerns over water and air contamination while proponents argued that drilling is perfectly safe. However, Mayor Mike Rawlings contended that regardless of any opinions about gas drilling itself, the city has a contract with Trinity East and needs to honor it.

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Trinity East could sue the city since it leased the land under pretenses that drilling would be allowed. Former city manager Mary Suhm reportedly assured the company that permits would be approved while the city council resolved not to drill on parkland, the DMN investigated.

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Because the City Plan Commission recommended the denial of the three permits, city council approval would have required a super majority.

As expected, Scott Griggs voted against the permits, along with Sandy Greyson, Monica Alonzo, Philip Kingston, Carolyn Davis and Adam Medrano.

Voting in favor with Mayor Rawlings were Sheffie Kadane, Lee Kleinman, Jennifer Stabauch Gates, Jerry Allen, Dwaine Caraway, Rick Callahan, Tennell Atkins and Vonciel Jones Hill.

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