The relocation would place the new dog park one-eighth of a mile up the street and would include new amenities like separate small and large dog play areas, water fountains for people and dogs and restroom facilities. But many dog owners in and around the area are saying they want no part of the proposed changes.
“I believe the new site for the dog park proposed in the city’s budget has many flaws,” said Sandy Springs resident Lee Ann Foster. “Dog park visitors will have to share a parking lot with the nearby skate park. Instead of one, large area the city wants to provide two, one-acre parks with fewer trees and the new site will no longer be a peaceful, secluded spot.”
Noise and traffic complaints have been expressed by the Lakeview Oaks Homeowners Association — a neighborhood close to the dog park — since 2013 but Foster and many other supporters of the dog park’s current location said the proposed new location would be closer to the residences on Peeler Road than it is to its current, closest neighbors.
“The worst part about the relocation of the dog park is city government spending public funds imprudently and against public interest,” said Dunwoody resident Saul Sloman.
And, according to Sandy Springs resident Aileen Deaton, the move could cost the city revenue from visitors to the park.
“Due to my two or three weekly trips through Dunwoody Village on the way to the dog park, I do a lot of eating and shopping there, including Publix, Ace Hardware and Panera Bread,” she said. “I would otherwise shop in the greater number of choices up and down Roswell Road and the Perimeter area.”
Deaton said volunteering at the dog park allows the city to have zero maintenance and upkeep costs for the area.
However, Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker said the relocation of the dog park was an expense budgeted for in 2013.
“Since the transfer of our parks from DeKalb County in 2010, the city has worked on and designed a comprehensive parks master plan with much community input, especially for Brook Run,” he said.
“In June, it will be up to council members to award relocation or explore other options,” Walker said.
Two major reasons the city first considered moving the park, Walker said, was to centralize all active parts of the park and to stop erosion and tree damage.
“After hiring a group to do tree assessments on city property, we found out the conditions of forested area within the dog park were being [decreased],” he said. “A lot of activity exposed the root zones for the trees and being where it is on a hillside, over the years plant material has died off because of dogs playing. Without vegetation to hold soil in place on a hillside, erosion occurs and trees no longer have top soil material that provides nutrients to the roots.”
Of resident and visitors’ concerns about the lack of shade and seclusion in the new area, Walker said adequate buffers separating the dog park from the skate park and large shaded areas as well as rotations to maintain the area are part of the plan.
A city council work session is scheduled for Monday, 6 p.m. with the regular meeting at 7 p.m. at city hall. A final vote is June 24, 7 p.m. at city hall.