The Board of Directors of the Greeley Area REALTOR® Association voted to oppose the 500-foot residential setback requirement being considered by the COGCC. It is estimated that a quarter of Greeley’s land would be useless for development if this rule is implemented. That translates to a loss of an estimated $3.2 million each year in gas and oil-related revenue. In addition, the cost of providing public utilities could double because the City would have to extend its infrastructure past chunks of undeveloped land because of the setbacks.
Thus, the new setbacks would violate the rights property owners and harm their ability to use their land, a right that is sacred to REALTORS®. Furthermore, the revenues derived from gas and oil development in Greeley and Weld County benefit citizens by funding valued services utilized by residents.
Residential builders have stated that the proposed setbacks would drive up the cost of developing lots, adding as much as $25,000 to the cost of developing each lot. This could make it more difficult for prospective homeowners to realize the dream of ownership. For farmers, the setback would disrupt farming practices, especially irrigation, which would reduce production and hurt land values.
For these reasons, GARA opposes the proposed setbacks. Other organizations that oppose the setbacks include: the City of Greeley, Weld County, the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, the Colorado Association of Home Builders, Farm Bureau Colorado, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Colorado Municipal League to name just a few.