Dominion Energy has suspended a plan to cut down nearly 250 palmetto trees on Sullivan’s Island after outcry from residents and town officials.
Utility company representatives met with town officials on Friday and came to an agreement to suspend the operation, said Paul Fischer, a spokesman for the utility.
Dominion representatives are working with Sullivan’s Island officials to ensure “mutual goals of public safety and reliability,” Fischer said.
“Our first step will be to mutually identify and remove the trees that pose an immediate risk to the safety and reliability of our system,” he said. “We will work with the town to outline a more detailed plan to mitigate the risks associated with the remaining trees.”
The original plan announced this week was greeted with objections from residents still smarting from extensive tree-trimming operations that Dominion conducted in the town last year.
Utility tree-trimming is often controversial, but it’s particularly fraught when palmetto trees are involved because those trees can’t be trimmed shorter, so it means removing them entirely.
“It’s very disturbing to a lot of residents,” Sullivan’s Island Administrator Andy Benke told The Post and Courier on Thursday. “I actually have three near my yard that are coming out.”
Trees in the right of way at 122 properties were slated for removal by Dominion starting this month. The right of way is typically the edge of otherwise private property along roads, and often includes landscaping.