Building apartments, fracking for gas, or both?

Here’s an article (subscriber service required) about a huge rental development planned for northwest Dallas, “Cypress Waters,” which could end up becoming the largest rental community in North Texas:

Developer Billingsley Co. has started construction on the 1,000-acre development, with the first 673 apartments expected to be ready by early 2013. Eventually, thousands of residences, mostly apartments, will be built on the north side of LBJ Freeway facing North Lake.

“We have the potential to build 10,000 units here, so we needed to start this project in a major way,” developer Lucy Billingsley said. “Our hope and dream is we build a master-planned rental living community.”

So what’s missing from this story? Natural gas company Luminant Energy has already obtained a permit to begin construction on six fracking well sites literally on the same site as the development.

This is the plan: Drill adjacent to residents and schools

This is, of course, a story of huge contradictions. Do renters deserve clean air, or should they live with gas drilling pollution that could affect their health and well-being? Will residents have the right to know about fracking wells hidden in this giant development, or will that be left out of the conversation just like it was in today’s article? The new gas drilling ordinance could protect all Dallas residents from the risks of fracking — or it could leave some to fend for themselves.

Update: the DMN City Hall Blog now has a post discussing this intersection of industrial and residential development.

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