Caution Around The Wires: New Greensboro Tree Ordinance Seeks To Please Residents And Utility

Feb 4, 2013

The first of three City Council subcommittee meetings takes place Monday morning as lawmakers begin drafting a new tree ordinance for the city. Strong turnout is expected from residents, many of who were outraged last month after Duke Energy cut down dozens of trees in residential neighborhoods.

The utility says it’s within its easement rights to trim and that cutting is a last resort. However, local citizens say the company’s practices are too aggressive and need new boundaries. One issue of the subcommittee is just how far around wires is fair game for Duke to cut. Currently any growth within a 15-foot radius of a wire can be pruned.  Some residents want to limit Duke’s trimming to within just seven feet of a power line. That would put Greensboro in similar company with Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary, all of which have thorough tree ordinances.

Mayor Robbie Perkins appointed four Council members to the subcommittee. Monday’s meeting is from 10:30am until Noon in the Council Chambers. The other meetings will be from 3:30pm-5pm on Monday, February 11th, and February 25th.