Friday, June 13, 2014

Dunwoody Dog Park, What Next?

The dog park at Brook Run is still the center of a huge issue for the city council.  There have been four options discussed recently for the future of this park 'amenity'.  

Councilman Heneghan has posted public comment on the dog park from a recent meeting HERE.  A true gem in the video is when a Dog Park Posse member (who does NOT live in Dunwoody and does NOT pay taxes here but MIGHT be buying snacks or gas in Dunwoody) refers to a person (who DOES live in Dunwoody and who DOES pay taxes and who HAS suffered from the poor placement of the dog park) as "vocal nasty people".  And that's not the first time we've heard a comment like this.  The Dog Park Posse does not care about anything but keeping the dog park where it is, regardless of any evidence suggesting it be moved (or closed).  Meanwhile city council allows the dog park to stay in place.  As we've discussed here before, Brook Run is NOT currently a park for local kids and active adults - it is a Regional Park for metro Atlanta.

Option 1 was to move the park to a new location.  The new location is close to the skate park and the green house, next to Peeler Road. This pleases the 30+ homeowners in Lake View Oaks, but not the homeowners on Peeler.  Peeler homeowners say 'not in my front yard'.  The Peeler Road homeowner had the classic NIMBY comment.  They do like to use the dog park when an out of town relative visits, but does not want the dog park within hearing distance of his home. It's okay for the dog park to stay close to Lake View Oaks homes, just not Peeler homes.  But he did say he hopes there is a way for the noise to be reduced.  (there is a way for the noise to be reduced, see Option 4 below).  The dog park location was decided by a former DeKalb official throwing a dart at a map of Brook Run.  Many of the Dog Park Posse say it's not safe for the kids at the skate park and playground to have the dogs so close.  Well, that's a comforting thought.  By their own admission, a dog park close to kids is not a great idea. 

Option 2 was to move it just a little bit, perhaps a small shift from its current location.

Option 3 is to keep it where it is and make some improvements.

Option 4, code named the 'Nuclear' option, is to close the dog park. Option 4 has not gained much support, of course.  There are future elections to be won.

There is now a new option, Option 5.  Option 5 moves the park away from all homeowners.  It places the dog park, which we are told is not harmful to the environment (yet too dangerous to be close to children) on high ground, just behind the Dunwoody Community Garden.

Option 5 is perfect.  No homes, no kids, trees, a nearby water fountain, a central location.  What about runoff from the dog park into the garden area?  No problem.  It's not harmful to the environment.  If the council members believe the dog park is a healthy resource for the park then there should be no hesitation to put it uphill from the garden.  Problem solved.  The garden did not surround itself 100% by a protective barrier insuring they stay in that spot forever tree orchard, allowing a dog park to move in.

But just in case the green thumb crew throws organic compost at this idea, we have a back-up plan, a 50-year back-up plan.  Let's rotate the garden location every 5 years.  Over the next 50 years all parts of the park will enjoy this amenity. This 50 year plan also blocks any harmful lacrosse, soccer, softball, football, and baseball fields from being built.

Option 6:  We keep hearing about the huge economic impact the dog park visitors have on our local tax base.  We've been told that dog park visitors go grocery shopping, buy gas, and eat at restaurants - on their way to and from the dog park.  Surely Fido is not sitting in a hot car as these folks leisurely stroll the aisles at Publix or dine at our local food establishments.  Our city's economic director needs to get involved here.  What really is the impact of the dog park on the economic engine of the southeast if these people stop buying candy bars at the BP and Chevron?  Will we need to raise the tax rate?  

Let's assume the economic impact of losing a dog park jeopardizes our city's existence.  How about we put the dog park in the 'town square' of the new JW Homes project in Georgetown?  This will cause a huge surge in sales of the home sites and the city's goal of transforming Georgetown will be a success.  The land swap naysayers will eat their own words regarding the Great Back Door Deal.


GaryRayBetz said...

Dog Park Relocation - It's a Mutt Point Now

I believe all this discussion about the relocation of the dog park is pretty well moot at this point. As the City of Dunwoody has already been advised in their commissioned study that the continued use of the existing area as a dog park will render the extant trees a hazard, the city is now obligated to move the dog park from its current location to the proposed treeless one, or else the City of Dunwoody and its already over-burdened taxpayers will be legally culpable if any of these trees fall and injure or worse - kill someone. The City of Dunwoody has no choice now but to relocate the dog park.

In fact, if everything is left status quo, members of the city government might even be held as criminally negligent if someone is injured by a falling tree. Analogous to a scenario where a government building is condemned by a building inspector and the city continues to allow its occupancy. You know the old adage - "If a tree falls in a condemned woods, you can be damn sure an attorney will hear it."

As a proud and compassionate owner of three rescue dogs myself, I'm certain that as long as their owners ensure they have plenty of water, the dogs won't mind their new treeless park one bit, and to accommodate their masters and mistresses who insist on standing in the sun to watch their precious pups play - brollies and parasols, respectively, would become all the fashionable rage once again. Dunwoody could create its own quaint "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" neo-impressionistic tableau - see there's even a win in all of this for the city's artist community!

GaryRayBetz said...

Think it can't happen in a park? It does, my darlings, it does.

"Woman Struck by Tree Branch in Cantigny Park in Wheaton Has Died" -