Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Easement Ordinance is Bad Public Policy

The easement ordinance passed at the June 13, 2007 “Special” meeting (and now officially “on hold”) is bad public policy. Strathmoor Village’s easement ordinance is at odds with the opinions of environmental and horticultural experts. It is contrary to Louisville Metro efforts to improve the environment and health of our community. Specifically, the ordinance is in conflict with the goals and objectives of Louisville Metro’s Air Pollution Control District and Louisville’s Brightside program.

It is well documented that grass has many negative consequences like:

  • maintaining turf grass leads to increased use of chemicals that are harmful to birds, butterflies, fish, and our children
  • turf grass absorbs more water than flowers and other ground cover, thus encouraging more supplemental watering
  • turf grass attracts fewer butterflies and birds that reduce mosquitoes and unwanted insects
  • turf grass increases the use of gas mowers that create noise pollution and poor air quality
  • mowers and trimmers can be dangerous to operators and bystanders
Louisville Metro’s Air Pollution Control District sent Cynthia Lee to the August Strathmoor Village commissioner’s meeting to speak against this ordinance. Ms. Lee pointed out that Louisville has a serious health problem with high incidents of asthma. Pollutants caused by gas powered lawn equipment exacerbates these health problems. In fact, asthma is the number one reason Louisville’s children miss school.

Finally, landscaping adds value to our homes. Estimates from realty companies put the increase in value from 3 to 10%.

This ordinance is bad public policy and needs to be repealed outright. Any new ordinance needs to be based on sound policies that promote public health and environmentally friendly outcomes.

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