Lafayette has some of the toughest oil and gas regulations in the state, but a group of eastern Boulder County residents would like to see the city tighten permit requirements even more.

On Tuesday night, the anti-fracking group East Boulder County United is expected to present a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures urging the Lafayette City Council to pass a temporary moratorium on drilling within city limits. The petition also seeks to put a question on this year's ballot so Lafayette residents can decide the future of oil and gas regulations.

"We intend to follow in the footsteps of other communities such as Longmont and Fort Collins to create a genuine public awareness of the issue, and to prevent the associated harms hydraulic fracturing invariably means to our families and our quality of life," the petition states.

The petition was circulated door-to-door throughout Lafayette by members of Fort Collins-based Community for Sustainable Energy.

East Boulder County United steering committee member Cliff Willmeng said that after speaking with canvassers he was impressed by how much Lafayette residents know about fracking-related issues.

Willmeng said the group hopes Lafayette considers following the lead set by Longmont and Fort Collins.

In Fort Collins, council members are scheduled to give final consideration Tuesday night to an ordinance banning oil and gas operations, including fracking, within city limits.

In Longmont, voters passed a ban on new oil and gas operations in their city in November.

"There's a lot of parallels between us and Longmont," Willmeng said. "(Longmont and Fort Collins) are absolutely leading the fight. These towns continue to show that hydraulic fracking is not welcome within the Front Range."

Longmont has since been sued by the state over its action.

Willmeng doesn't believe litigation should serve as a deterrent.

"We have to look at the impact of a lawsuit versus the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing," Willmeng said. "In the long run, a lawsuit would be far less damaging. And the verdict is still out."

Lafayette Mayor Pro Tem Steve Kracha said the city has among the toughest oil and gas regulations in the state.

"We have strict enough regulations that we've had two companies come in and apply for drilling permits in the past decade, and both have backed out," Kracha said. "Most other municipalities say the setbacks are from a house or structure. Ours goes from structures, roads, open space, trails. We pretty much have it covered."

Lafayette's regulations include drilling setbacks of at least 350 feet "from a building, public road, above ground utility line, railroad, wildlife habitat area, pedestrian, biking or horseback trail, features or sites with official designation as having important historic or archaeological value, building permitted for construction or a platted lot line for a lot which is covered by an approved preliminary plan for a residential or commercial use; or which preliminary plan is for an industrial use which industrial use is characterized by any extraordinary fire hazard."

If Lafayette is faced with an emergency situation when it comes to fracking, the City Council already has a moratorium drafted and ready to go.

"A drilling applicant has to go through a permit review process with the Planning Commission and City Council," Kracha said. "We feel like it's in our best interests to have a moratorium that is written up, drafted, but not implemented until we need it. Those things are only good for a period of time."