A woman climbed a massive oak tree near Buckhead to try to keep Georgia Power to cut it down to make room for development.
Jennifer Firestone climbed the tree early Thursday morning. She told 11 Alive News the tree “can come down with me in it.”
Trees Atlanta is trying to work with both parties.
We are aware of the situation at Cross Creek. We are in contact with both parties and are working to learn more. Thank you for your concern!
— Trees Atlanta (@TreesAtlanta) February 11, 2016
Atlanta Police were on the scene but this afternoon stated it was no longer a police matter.
“It’s no longer a police matter. Officers cleared the scene. She is on her own property,” said Officer Lukasz Sajdak.
Firestone told 11Alive she has watched the tree grow since the 1960s and loves waking up to it outside her window.
Georgia Power spokesperson Ashley Stukes said construction near Cross Creek Condos is related to a large scale infrastructure project in Northwest Atlanta.
“This is a multi-year project critical to ensuring reliability in Atlanta including Hartsfield-Jackson, the CDC and hundreds of thousands of residents,” Stukes said in the statement. “We appreciate residents’ concerns regarding trees in the area and we’re committed to working with management at the residential complex, as well as through the entire project, to minimize the impact to established trees and vegetation.”
Cross Creek Condos owners told 11Alive they do not want Georgia Power to take a 100-foot easement for its development that would lead to the cutting down of many trees; the power company currently has a 40-foot easement.
UPDATE: At nearly 9 p.m. on Feb. 11, Georgia Company issued another statement that said the company was following federal guidelines to complete a major construction at the condo complex. Transmission line clearing is necessary for compliance and reliability and federal mandates have to be followed, said spokesperson Jacob Hawkins.
“We only cut or trim trees that are within our defined right of way,” Hawkins said in the statement.
“Ensuring that our right of way around our transmission lines is clear is an important part of maintaining reliability and meeting current North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirements, as directed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) mandate that utilities maintain adequate clearance around all applicable transmission lines, under all operating conditions, to prevent power outages caused by vegetation,” he added.