Council OKs Development, Despite Concerns About Traffic, 300-Year-Old Tree

Oct 9, 2013

The Urban County Council has granted approval to a zone change that will allow a development off Harrodsburg Road.

300-year-old oak tree off Harrodsburg Road at Military Pike
300-year-old oak tree off Harrodsburg Road at Military Pike

The move comes over the objection of some neighborhood residents.

In an 8-2 vote Tuesday, the council gave the green light to Ball Homes to proceed with the project, which opponents argue will create too much traffic and possibly endanger the life of a 300-year-old bur oak tree.

Ball Homes Attorney Bill Lear argued that developing the property with single-family homes and apartments makes sense.

"The development that we have is simply the last in a long line of developments out in that area. It's no different. It creates the same issues. So this is one of those 'people in glass houses' kind of situations," Lear said.

But residents, some of whom fought to protect the tree five years ago when a developer proposed 193 townhouses on the site, argued this is not a case of NIMBY, or Not in My Backyard. Nancy Terhaar was among the opponents taking issue with the characterization.

"We simply don't want a substandard and non-conforming development plan as the basis for rezoning, not near our neighborhood, not in any place in Lexington. We are not asking for anything special," Terhaar told the council.

A final development plan must be submitted to the city before construction begins.