Lexington, utility reach agreement on tree-cutting policies

August 20, 2022 GMT

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s second-largest city has reached an agreement with a utilities company over the company’s policy of razing trees throughout the city to make way for power lines.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and officials with Kentucky Utilities Company announced a joint resolution in response to “community concerns” that modifies how KU cuts, trims and removes trees around transmission lines, Mayor Linda Gorton said.

The agreement caps a contentious, years-long back and forth between the city of Lexington and the utilities company over the issue, media outlets reported.

The city sued last year after an uproar from residents upset that big trees were being axed in yards across the city and an unheeded request from the city for KU to stop.

With the mutually-agreed upon plan reached, the city opted to drop its lawsuit.

In July, KU initially conceded and agreed to make changes to its tree-cutting policy, which resulted in an estimated 50% reduction in the number of trees clear cut and an increase in monetary compensation to affected property owners, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The city, in turn, agreed to hit pause on its lawsuit.

Those changes were mutually agreed upon and formally approved on Thursday.