Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brook Run Settlement Soon?

Dunwoody taxpayers continue to pay annually for a Parks Bond that was approved years ago, before we became a city.  Take a look at your tax bill and you'll see it.  When the county voters were being solicited to vote YES to borrow money to improve parks, it was mentioned that much of that money would be spent at Brook Run, and in other areas of the county.  To no surprise to anyone, little of that money ever made it to the parks in Dunwoody. 

No worries.  We have a city next door called Sandy Springs.  That city has lots of money and more open space than Dunwoody.  The leaders in Sandy Springs built some impressive outdoor parks the past few years. It's apparent leaders in Sandy Springs appreciate youth and active adult sports.

The beautiful fields at Morgan falls in nearby Sandy Springs
the not-so-beautiful fields of Brook Run

Now that they have built the basics, they are stepping it up another notch, building a theater as part of their city center. The theater will be nice, but it will be empty more times than full.  Same for the nice Cobb Energy Center.  Nice place, but icing on a cake for a community.

If you have kids and want to sign them up for youth sports or other activities, head over to the web sites of Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, or some other city close by.

So back to that Parks Bond you are paying off.  You most likely don't get any benefit from it, nor do your Dunwoody neighbors.  But you have to keep paying.  After becoming a city, Dunwoody filed a lawsuit against DeKalb, demanding million of dollars to be spent at Brook Run.  DunwoodyTalk has not heard anything of a settlement, but recent stirrings point toward a possible settlement.  Will Dunwoody and DeKalb soon settle, with Dunwoody receiving $3 to $6 million?  

A movement has started to claim millions of lawsuit-settlement dollars to revamp a deteriorated theater at Brook Run. Thespians across the land are uniting for a reverse curtain call at Brook Run.  Talks of puppets, Dance Dan, Inc., and backdoor Stage Players are trending across the social media.

Kids are too busy on Instagram in Mom's grocery-getter, on their way to Murphy Candler or Morgan Falls or Hammond Park to know that no one is organizing for them.  But give them time.  About 20 years or so. Then they'll look back and wonder why their hometown had nothing but the Greater Atlanta Baseball league.

A small theater in Dunwoody would be nice, but how about saving Brook Run for outdoor activities?  

A new theater could be voted on by placing a Theater bond on the ballot.  The location would be the current site of the library.  The modern day library is as useful as the Dewey Decimal System.  It serves as nothing more than a place for people to mooch free taxpayer Internet.  We'd be better off having the city buy some RedBox looking kiosks with city-paid WiFi, and allowing people to use these to check their Hot Mail accounts.  

What about Spruill Pottery Throwers Guild?  Well, the Spruill profitable non-profit Spruill folks can build an art room in the basement of the new hotel/restaurant complex they are putting on their property?  Did someone just hear that?  It sounded like someone turning over in their grave.

I'm all for a theater, just not in Brook Run.  We all know that a certain percentage of Brook Run must remain 'natural', as in grass and trees and such.  The theater and new parking will restrict adding sports fields.  The private garden and orchard have claimed a chunk of park, the tree zip line thing is yet another regional feature, like the dog park and skate park, and we all know the dog story, right?  The dog park ruined lots of land in the park, so our city leaders decided to move the dog park so it can ruin even more land in the park.  And you are paying for it as well.  Dunwoody will spend a couple hundred thousand more dollars this year so dogs can continue to poop and pee in our 100-acre wasteland.

Let's build something for the children of Dunwoody and not continue funding things designed for the entire metro area.   

On a lighter note, check back next week for March Madness in Dunwoody.  We've expanded the field to 64 teams.


Anonymous said...


I have spent some time at Morgan Falls park recently and have been going to that area for a very long time, way before you became a neighbor. Frankly, I think their engineered 'passive-use' park design is bogus. It looks temporary, made up, and will have large ongoing maintenance costs.

That's how some companies make money, managing projects over time.

How many acres do the 10 baseball and two football fields comprise at Morgan Falls? Do you not think that that area is a citywide draw for other areas? Brook Run has 100+ acres, ample room for many uses and natural areas, as well.

Why arrogantly diss dog, garden, theater interests? Especially the latter. No help from those constituencies using your approach...

Not to make this personal, mind you, I am all about citizen advocacy and think the 'its for the children' approach has enough merit without rancor toward those with legitimate park uses.

I walk Brook Run weekly and really like the openess of the Park. Years forward, Dunwoody will move toward greater density, it is inevitable - Don't be so anxious to pave over the last 100 acres, WE DON'T GET A RE-DO.

Heyward said...

I do believe the sports field in Brook Run would be the best use of monies from any settlement. We might want to take a step back and look at all the arts in our city as a whole. Maybe form an arts council. An organization that can recommend areas of improvement for arts for the whole community. What are we missing and what do we need? Without knowing those questions, City Council has no direction on how to improve the arts in Dunwoody and create a proper priority. The back of Brook Run is in need of a use...a nice sports field that the community can use.

DunwoodyTalk said...


Please re-read the post. I never mentioned paving over Brook Run. I'd like to see sports fields. parking spaces can be pervious surface. Knocking down the old theater and re-purposing that area, and its paved parking lots,would be an improvement. The Master Plan calls for a theater in the Village area. I said I was in favor of a theater, but not at Brook Run. The Morgan Falls ball field area is what I'd like to see, not their passive use areas. As far as the dogs go, if you walk Brook Run as you say, then you've seen the harm it has done. The compacted earth, the gallons of urine deposited daily, the noise, etc. It's comical that the city is spending as much for a new dog park (probably more) as it is for the new playground at the Nature center. Do you see nothing wrong with that scenerio? In regards to the garden, I believe it should be moved. It's location is at the center of the park, prohibiting a Morgan falls type layout. But the garden folks wisely planted an orchard, claiming more land in the park, and moving an orchard will be a huge political issue, even though I could buy for $20 at Kroger the annual production of said orchard. I'll leave the dogs alone on my follow-up post as council already approved the project and no use arguing it. Finally, for the record, the city will spend $250,000+ on dogs and $0 for grass fields for humans this year.

Anonymous said...

There is a middle ground, Rick, you and Heyward are right about that.

I just am very concerned that we have league play, late at night, with bright lights, cars, and all that goes with it. A few ball fields, soccer/football should be there. Think about how the four fields are laid out at Piedmont Park. Back to back, compact and people have to walk a bit to get to them, no huge parking lots, pervious, or not.

The Garden folks did this the old fashioned way, they just squatted on the sunniest spot and became a reality. It is a nice spot now.

Like you say, dog park is done.

As to the theater, let's see what the engineering reports show, I think the theater has been vacant for so long it may cost a lot more to re-purpose than folks realize.

Anonymous said...

Settlement for parks coming soon... Danny Ross must have insider information. He's already started pushing to restore a beat up building. Would be really nice to have some fields of some sort.

Anonymous said...

The original plan for fields was to use the BALLFIELD NEXT DOOR at the newly remodeled PUBLIC SCHOOL.

That was was sold/told to everyone, why have high density use in a park with a ballfield right next door?

Whether the Brook Run theater is a 'beat up building' may or may not be true - Why don't you match Mr. Ross's magnanimous offer and match his pledge of $20,000 to help find out?

Atlanta may have torn down everything to make way for generally less, Dunwoody does not have to follow that beat up model.

Thank you, Danny Ross for courage, leadership, and your civic involvement. And generosity.

Pattie Baker said...

Rick: I'm so confused by your constant negative garden comments and would love to talk with you about it offline sometime. You were one of the most dedicated members and volunteers when we founded that garden almost 6 years ago, and you know as well as I do that the location is perfect for its particular purpose, that the garden is not locked and is open to the public at all times (and is used for inspiration, gatherings, and personal healing/meditation by many non-members constantly), and that the orchard serves many purposes, only one of which will be measurable bounty (and which takes years to achieve). Separately, I just want to correct the record stated by Anonymous--the garden folks did not squat on that land. Formal written approval was received from both DeKalb County (which owned the park when the garden started) and the City of Dunwoody (which was already scheduled to own it shortly after). The orchard was approved by the city as well. And the small, limited-time experiment going on in the back field was approved, too. I was a member of the garden for two years, and I am truly awed when I visit it now and see how it has grown and the wide, wide, net of support and involvement from within our community and beyond that has developed as a result. I feel deep respect for the enormous contributions you've made to that garden, and I wish you wouldn't, well, soil that.