For the seventh time in the last 19 months a Fort Worth community will head to the city council chambers in opposition to gas line compressors. The compressors are typically housed in buildings to help move natural gas through pipelines.
For those in the Historic Randol Mill Valley Alliance, a conglomeration of neighborhoods including Trails of River Lakes and Mallard Cove, they don’t want to see a single compressor go up on rural land in there relatively quiet east Fort Worth neighborhoods.
"Absolutely not," said Jackie Barnd, a Mallard Cove resident.
In Nov. 2011 the group of residents successful persuaded the zoning commission and the city council to reject a proposal to turn an old horse training ring into a compressor station.
"We've been fighting this since October 2011, we've been trying to work with city council and the zoning committee and we're still at it," Barnd said.
During that initial process residents learned during a council meeting that if the horse ring had been zoned purely agricultural, they would have had no say whether the compressor station could go in or not.
Tuesday night's fight against compressors isn't focused on that single station, but rather all the rules of where compressor stations can be located.
Under the city's current ordinance compressors are allowed in all industrial zones and in agricultural zoned areas. Companies have the right to put in compressors on property with that zoning designation as long as the compressors are 300 feet, if the compressor is not enclosed, or 600 feet, if the compressor is enclosed, from a protected use. A protected use would be a neighborhood.
Under a proposal to change the ordinance, the city would change that setback to 1,000 feet. Meaning companies can put in compressors as long as they're 1,000 feet from a protected use. A company could get waivers from protected uses or have a hearing with the city council if the distance is less than a 1,000 feet, but no less than 600 feet.
However, neighbors don’t like that proposal. They want another 90 days to meet with the city and with representatives of the gas industry to find an agreeable solution.
What’s not agreeable to these residents is being told they can’t have a say on whether a compressor moves into their neighborhood.
"As a neighborhood of 323 homes in Mallard Cove, we need to say something, we need to be able to say something about it," Barnd said.
A 90-day moratorium is on the council agenda at 7 p.m., so the council seems poised to delay a decision and give residents and industry time to work something out.
"It's not only for our area here on the east side of Fort Worth, but all Fort Worth communities," Barnd said.