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Access to Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals in Urban Areas

Christopher G. Hayes, Proceedings of 53rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2007)

Local governments (towns, villages, cities, counties, townships) have a surprising amount of power to regulate the uses to which landowners can put their property. Notwithstanding the fact that mineral development has historically been a favored use of land, local governments are more interested than ever before in deciding for the mineral owner where, when, or whether such development will happen within their jurisdictions. Local governments employ a number of devices to try to control the decision; this discussion will provide a non-exhaustive discussion of them and a set of recommendations for dealing with them.
§ 6.02 Power of Local Governments to Regulate Land Use
Although state and federal agencies enjoy a great deal of authority in regulating, respectively, federal lands and activities that are of interest statewide, local governments are the entities that regulate what property owners can do on their land, depending on where it is located and what the uses are in the neighborhood. The source of power is generally derived from state government or state constitution, and it takes the form of the “police power,” or the generalized power to regulate activities affecting the public health, safety, and welfare.
[1] Police Power
The police power is the term used to describe the general authority of state governments to regulate activities that affec