Excerpt from Daily Camera editorial advisory board 05/06/2016 written by Judy Amabile
This week's topic: What's your take on the Colorado Supreme Court's fracking decisions striking down a ban in Longmont and a moratorium in Fort Collins?
On Jan. 7, 1632, the city of Cambridge passed the colonies' first land-use regulations. One measure restricted the location of horse stables. They were considered a nuisance. In 1916, New York City enacted the country's first comprehensive land-use ordinance and the concept of zoning by municipalities was born.
In 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed local jurisdiction over zoning in the landmark case of Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. The court held that zoning in considerations of public health and safety and of preserving the character and quality of a neighborhood were the purview of local legislative judgment.
Seventeen cities in Colorado have regulations about keeping chickens. In Dacono, you may not have any chickens, but you can keep two ducks or two rabbits. In New Castle, a coop must be 25 feet from any dwelling, business or street. Meanwhile, in Erie, the city can't stop fracking 700 feet from a subdivision, even though it rattles homes and subjects inhabitants to noise upwards of 70 decibels.
Local control over land use predates the Constitution. It has endured because it gives locals the foremost rights to protect (or profit from) the surroundings they inhabit on a daily basis.
If Longmont, Fort Collins, Boulder or other cities don't want fracking because it affects the health and well-being of their citizens, that is their right. The state law that precludes local control over fracking should be repealed.