Houston Energy LLP’s natural gas well proposed in the Willowdale area that had been stalled by opponents worked out an agreement that cleared the way for the project.
Barbara Fuselier, president of the area’s Grand Ridge Golf Club board of managers, told the St. Charles Parish Council at its Nov. 2 meeting that since Houston Energy had relocated an access road on the levee that was parallel to the club greens that the board no longer opposed the project.
“They moved it north, but it was sufficient enough for the board to agree it would not adversely affect our business,” Fuselier said. “Now, we’re okay with moving forward with the rig.”
Fuselier said they were satisfied with the change and Houston Energy’s willingness to work with them.
The council approved Houston Energy’s rezoning request needed for the company to proceed with drilling the well. Company representatives also attended the council meeting, but only asked for rezoning approval.
Houston Energy requested a change in zoning classification from R-1A to OL (open land) at about 3 acres of land in Luling that had been approved by the Planning Commission but also required Council approval.The Planning Commission had signed off on the company’s permit application to build a board road and drill for natural gas with a conventional rig and drill pad on the three acres.
The parish Planning and Zoning Department said Houston Energy had made requested changes, such as relocating the proposed well site at least 30 feet from the levee.
In September of last year, the company had submitted a drilling permit request to the state Department of Natural Resources in September of last year for a drilling site adjacent the 13th hole of Grand Ridge Golf Club, which it later moved to about 600 feet north of the golf course and subdivision.
At that time, Willowdale area residents also expressed concerns about noise and hurting property value. The company stated it did an environmental impact statement.Fuselier also maintained at that time that the board opposed the drilling, although she also said Houston Energy had been forthcoming with information about the project.
By December of last year, then District II Councilman BillyWoodruff said he’d received calls opposing the project.
Woodruff said he was concerned about the company’s first proposal that called for construction of a road along the top of a small levee bordering the Willowdale property.
Woodruff also said, whether he considered the project good or bad was irrelevant, he was acting on residents’ concerns.