Lawsuit filed against Georgetown over proposed oil pump station


Highlights

Lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order to stop the City Council from voting on a rezoning request.

A doctor has made an appeal that says crude oil pump stations are not allowed in business park zoning.

A Georgetown doctor is trying to stop the construction of a crude oil pump station next to his property by challenging the rezoning request of the company that is seeking to build it, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Rawhide LLC, a company owned by Dr. Jeffrey Miller, a urologist, requested Friday that a judge issue a temporary restraining order preventing the Georgetown City Council from taking a final vote on the rezoning request for the pump station. The vote is on the agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting.

The lawsuit asked that a restraining order be issued until an appeal by Miller to the Georgetown Zoning Board of Adjustment is resolved. The appeal says city Planning Director Sofia Nelson misinterpreted the definition of utility services allowed for business park zoning to include a crude oil pump station.

Miller’s appeal to the zoning board doesn’t mean the council can’t take its final vote Tuesday on the rezoning request, said Keith Hutchinson, a city spokesman. “The City Council is acting on whether the district (business park) as a whole is appropriate in this location, not just the use of the intermediate utility,” he said Monday.

In its initial vote Dec. 13, the council approved the request made by Enterprise Products to change the zoning of the 10 acres it owns on Rabbit Hill Road from agricultural to business park. The city’s attorney, Charlie McNabb, told the council it couldn’t prevent the pump station from being built because it is allowed under its current agricultural zoning.

Rick Rainey, an Enterprise spokesman, said Monday that the company “is aware of the lawsuit and is reviewing the pleadings.”

“Although the company is not a party to the lawsuit, we believe it is without merit,” Rainey said.

The lawsuit also says the pump station severely limits Miller’s access to his 10-acre cattle ranch property, which Miller can get to only through the land owned by the pipeline company.

The pump station is for the yet-to-be-built Enterprise crude oil pipeline proposed to run from Midland to Sealy. A pump station boosts the pressure of the oil to keep it moving through the pipeline.

The pump station will be enclosed in a building surrounded by 8-foot-tall fencing with locked gates and 24-hour monitoring from cameras at the site, said Graham Bacon, the company’s executive vice president of operations and engineering.

Enterprise chose the location on Rabbit Hill Road because it is near two Georgetown electric substations that can deliver the power necessary to run the station, he said.



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