Hundreds attend final public hearing for Bowman Field tree cutting project

Homeowners speak out at tree removal near Bowman Field

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's a battle over trees but for Cynthia Huber the fight has a deeper meaning.

“This is not only did they lose their loved ones that they have memorialized but they're also losing the tree in memory of that person,” she said.

Huber founded the Living Memorial Grove of Trees which is a place where trees are planted in memory of people who have died of cancer.  Some of those trees will be cut down because of the safety project around Bowman Field.

“I think they're still fighting it as much as they can but I think the reality is that they are going to take down these trees,” Huber said.

Huber was one of hundreds of people at a public meeting at the Breckenridge Inn about cutting and trimming trees at homes around Bowman Field.

“I'm furious and it doesn't seem like we can do anything about it,” homeowner Pat Slover said.

Slover is just one of the many homeowners who attended the public hearing.  She says her property--where she's lived since 1948--will be affected by the tree trimming safety project and she feels like her rights are being taken away.

“I don't want to see any other trees cut down but I especially don't want to see my tree cut down.  And I would like to know what their plan is.  I don't think they've been forthright in explaining to the neighborhood,” Slover said.

According to the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, this plan goes back to 2012 and it's all about maintenance.  They say cutting down these trees and trimming others is part of federal regulations to make it safe for pilots when landing.  Pilot Darrell Lyvers who hangars his plane at Bowman Field submitted his opinion at the meeting.

“I wrote, ‘I love trees but not where they're dangerous to people or pilots,’” Lyvers told WHAS11 News.

There is good news for homeowners though.  A mitigation project is in place.  The airport authority has promised that for every one tree that is taken down, it will be replaced by two new trees that will not be as big and will not obstruct the air space around Bowman Fields.


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