Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brook Run Dog Park makes proposal to stay in place - neighbors ask that it be moved.


Proposal Highlights
Redesign of Dog Park (shift it away from Lakeview Oaks / expand forward)
Planting Leyland Cypress & Holly to block views, install EverQuiet Wall
Increase front end of park to be used for small dogs, less congestion, less noise.
Regrade sloping areas with timbers to slow water, Aeration, Deep Root Fertilizing
Mulch trees with wood chips, add irrigation to new plantings,
Water Runoff improvement efforts based on terracing, slowing and directing water.
No park rotation of facilities as no growing ground cover intended.
Little immediate ADA improvements.
City of Dunwoody requested to pay for all improvements.
Friends of Brook Run supportive but not true "stakeholder".
Lakeview Oaks Homeowners Association - is not supportive.

Neighbors Concerns

Email Communication

November 14 - Heneghan to Council
November 19 - BRDPA to Council
November 25 - BRDPA to Heneghan
November 26 - Heneghan to BRDPA
November 27 - Heneghan to Lockridge
November 27 - Jay Pryor to Heneghan and attachment.

Video of Dec 2nd Meeting

The meeting requested by the BRDPA took place on Mon Dec 2nd at 4 pm at the office of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and lasted close to two hours.  Video was shot but the resolution was set very high therefore conversion and posting will be done as time permits.



Next steps

The Dunwoody City Council is scheduled to vote on Monday December 9th on approving the contract for the new dog park at the new location.  The proposal presented by the BRDPA will be discussed and considered.  Depending on the outcome of that discussion, either the contract for the new dog park will be approved or it may be deferred for more discussion or research of the BRDPA proposal.


DunwoodyTalk said...

I hope city council and the mayor make a statement for children, not dogs. Dunwoody should remove the dog park 100% from Brook Run and use the funds for a couple of basketball courts up near N Peachtree, close to the school. A vote to move/keep the dog park is a vote against children and active adults in a community that is severely short on amenities for these two groups. Vote NO for dogs and YES for children, active adults, and human taxpayers.

GaryRayBetz said...

Have to agree with Dunwoody Talk in the previous comment. With public park land in the city at a premium - remove the dog park entirely from Brook Run and give the park back to its children and adult patrons. Dogs can and should be walked - it's healthier for the dogs as well as their owners. Children can make better use of the open area, even if it's just to play tag or hide-and-seek..

Perhaps it's just John's black and white depiction of it in his post, but how fitting with all the turmoil and controversy that this plot of park land has engendered that the trees in the Brook Run Dog Park Association logo bear resemblance to a mushroom cloud.

Anonymous said...

Do DunwoodyTalk and GaryRayBetz honestly think those dogs bring themselves to the dog park? Oh wait, are those people walking around the dog park too?! Did it ever occur to you that some of those human taxpayers enjoy spending time with their dog around other dogs and dog people?

Also, please don't tell me you are concerned about the TREES when you want to pave over more land to make a basketball court.

DunwoodyTalk said...


neither of our comments mention saving trees. Lots of trees in Dunwoody. I'm sure people like walking with dogs, an activity than can be done nearly anywhere. My point is that the Brook Run should be improved for human use, not dog use. Once the park has improved to include amenities for active children and adults, then maybe we can consider a slice of the pie for canines. I find it amazing that this issue is still pending. I thought a council filled with parents and grandparents would be fast-tracking some projects for tweens and teens. The new Georgetown park(s)focus on toddlers and kids under 10. If Dunwoody had hundreds and hundreds of acres of park space maybe we could justify 2 or 4 acres for dogs, but that's not the case.

Steve Walker said...

Surely you folks jest !! Brook Run is a HUGE slice of land with plenty of room for all kinds of amenities. The small space that this little dog park takes up is miniscule compared to the overall availability of land area for whatever. Leave the dog park alone as it is and where it is focus on the overall future of Brook Run instead of one little area. Brook Run is a rock for Dunwoody ready to become a diamond!! Focus on THAT !!

Anonymous said...

GaryRayBetz last comment about the dog park logo seems to indicate he cares about the trees.

Do you truly believe that only people with kids (or grandkids) pay taxes in Dunwoody? Do the other taxpayers have any say in what should be there? Would it change your mind if the dog park patrons brought their W-2s so you could see what they contribute to the Dunwoody economy?

I think what the dog park patrons are trying to get across is that the dog park is also used by humans. By people. Ok so maybe not as many kids but god forbid the whole world not be about kids. Should single or even childless families be left out of park planning because all they have is a DOG?

GaryRayBetz said...

Ah, social media makes us much too accessible when we don't use aliases as I had a most "friendly" folks-woman advise me that I must despise dogs to want to get rid of the dog park, but this accusation is much to the contrary of what is truly in my heart; it is because I love dogs so, that I speak out against dog parks, just as I argue against keeping wild animals captive in an urban zoo. My eyes tear every time I see pictures of depressed and dispassionate-eyed apes behind glass or videos of the noble copperhead kept in a vivarium.

I have three rescue dogs myself and am very empathetic to other dog lovers but a dog park just isn't the answer to good canine health. A brisk daily walk by its owner is many times more conducive for a dog's well-being.

Additionally, all you fellow zoolaters, there is a law of nature that certainly can't be disputed - "Humans rule and dogs drool." Give the dog park land back to the children!

And to my most congenial hater, as Florence Welch and Isabella "Machine" Summers stated so eloquently and lyrically, "the dog days are over", babe, they're just over - face it.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if my comment indicated to you that I think you hate dogs. I really don't think that about anyone unless you tell me you do. I was trying to say that humans use the dog park too... I feel like that is being overlooked in the discussion.

I don't like using my name in these sort of correspondences due to a stalking issue in the past. It's a long boring story but if you would like to meet at the park some time to discuss the dog park I'm more than willing.

Buddy's Mom said...

There are plans to put a Basketball Court near Chamblee Dunwoody. It will be located on the former hospital land. City Council is trying to meet the desires of citizens so stay tuned!

The location that was chosen for the new Dog Park is a horrible location. It is well documented that it is not a good idea to mix large animals and kids. The proposed dog park is close to a children's playground and next to a skate board park. Our 100 lb dog had a fit when he saw the kids roll by on skateboards through the parking lot. Fortunately, our dog was in the car but he barked and lunged at the boys. The issues that may arise from locating a dog park next to an area that is heavily used by children are numerous. I believe that is why the Dog Park should stay where it is...away from children.

Another fact is the reduction in size of the Park. It will go from 3 acres to 1 acre. It is impossible to have an off leash park with large dogs in an area that small. I have had cancer and viral meningitis during the last 4 years. My balance is not good enough to manage walking in a small space with dogs running everywhere. I do not move fast enough to truly exercise our dog which is why I take him to the Dog Park so that HE can run.

The City of Dunwoody offers NOTHING for people over the age of 50 other than sidewalks. A huge number of people in Dunwoody are seniors...you just don't hear from them as they are not internet active. I see lots of seniors in the Dog Park. Let us keep our Dog Park and enjoy the exercise we get while our dogs play!

GaryRayBetz said...

Hey, "Southernbelle31" it wasn't you at all that I was referencing. Your comments were civilized and most gracious. I had a different lady (who I shall assume was not you, as I know her and she is no Southern Belle - trust me) confront me personally while I was on my daily run. No issues with you at all. You politely stated your opinion.

John Heneghan said...

Video of the entire 1:50 meeting is now available and the post has been updated.

Part 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ASmxg_1eVo

Part 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYAsUtwcNis

jazzlover said...

My comments will be posted in separate parts, due to length.
Long before there was an off leash dog park, the same area (current dog park) was used by many to let their dog run. It is an ideal place in many ways: shady, many foot paths & asphalt trails, easy terrain for humans. The original fenced off-leash area (dog park) was established by DeKalb County, before there was a City of Dunwoody. The dog park volunteer group arose from users. Brook Run Dog Park became extremely popular, bringing people from all areas of the greater metropolitan Atlanta area.
Brook Run Park was transferred from DeKalb County to Dunwoody when Dunwoody became a city. Time rocked on. The dog park became more popular. When the 1st mention of moving the location of the off-leash dog park was made, assurances were given by the City of Dunwoody that the dog park would not lose any size. That promise seems to have been totally forgotten. It has certainly been ignored. Since origination, the fencing has been relocated 3 times. Each time, the size of the dog park has been decreased. No additional areas were incorporated to make up for the reduction.

jazzlover said...

part 2
Now, closure of the dog park is being threatened. Many who do not utilize the dog park do not realize how many benefits arise for the humans, not only the canines:
- Many humans encounter unexpected physical issues (illness, surgery, balance issues) that limit their ability to walk a dog on leash, even when that may not have been the case originally. Many people in exactly this situation use the dog park to provide exercise to their dog.
- At least 50% of patrons that utilize the dog park walk a trail around the inside perimeter of the fence. Most of their dogs walk/stay with their owner. Having walked many dogs on leash & inside the dog park, I can assure you that my dogs get better exercise in the dog park--they do not stop every 10 seconds to sniff something.
- The off-leash area gives working humans an option to provide good walking exercise to both themselves and their dogs, rather than being forced to choose one vs. the other. There is a limited amount of time available after work hours, so…who gets the exercise? One can achieve exercise for both at the off-leash park.
- Safety: many people walk the dogs in the off-leash area, because there are almost always other people present, and many people have expressed feeling safer inside with others than walking alone in their neighborhoods or in other areas of the park.
This dog park is not in competition with children or anybody else for space. There is a lot of unused space at Brook Run Park. If the City officials were willing to work with the dog park volunteer organization, a workable solution, including moving the location of the dog park, could easily be found. There are other areas within the park that could provide the same amount of space, adequate shade, & far enough away from a residential area. There is no need to locate the dog park near the children’s park area or the skate park (noting potential problems cited earlier re: these areas). Why is the City of Dunwoody being so intractable about this issue? It makes no sense when there are solutions possible that would actually please everyone.

With regard to the money that is planned to spend on relocating/improving the dog park: That should not be seen as ‘competition’ between spending for children vs. spending for dogs—it is in actuality spending for citizens; some are children & some are adults with pets. The adults deserve some of the budget money for Dunwoody Parks & Recreation to be spent on them.
The volunteers that maintain the dog park have stepped up many times, to provide money, time, and labor in order to keep the dog park a healthy, safe place for people and their dogs. We have asked almost nothing from DeKalb County or the City of Dunwoody. We have funded our own projects & done quite a lot over the years. There is no indication that our dedication would lapse. We don’t want much from the city, mostly just the right kind of area with enough space to serve the people (& their dogs) who utilize this space.

John Heneghan said...

For the public record, BRDPA responses to questions during the Dec 2nd meeting.

Dear John,

During the meeting on Dec 2nd, a few questions were raised regarding the acreage at the Brook Run Dog Park. While the total area of the ORIGINAL dog park may be significant, it does not bear on what is proposed and that is what we will concentrate on here.

Under the PROPOSED PLAN submitted to the COD, the total land acreage of the Large Dog Park (LDP) would be approximately 2 acres (current configuration but with the western fence line moved 100 feet further away from Lake View Oaks). The acquisition of the land next to the parking lot ( eastern side of the Dog Park where the old Admin. building was previously removed) is approximately ¾ of acre. The favored Option “B” divides the new area (¾ of acre) and allocates approximately ½ acre to the LDP making the newly designed LDP approximately 2.50 acres and the new Small Dog Park (SDP) ¼ acre. Total land for the proposed LDG and SDP would therefore be approximately 2.75 acres.

We have viewed the bids that were submitted on the ITB for the COD Foresite plan on moving the dog park to the new location. The low bid was $276,750 and the high bid $493,000. If you discard the highest and the lowest, the average bid was around $325,000. Obviously, they all included the building of the restroom facilities and we do not know what that cost was since it was not line item delineated. However, based on Brent’s information on a similar previous construction, it should be around $30,000 for the restroom construction. An average cost for just the COD Foresite Design dog park is therefore at approximately $295,000.

While we have not had sufficient time to get a firm handle on the costs associated for carrying out the proposed plan we offered on Dec. 2nd, we feel we have enough information to state that our proposed plan would cost the COD of Dunwoody less than ½ of the cost of the Foresite Dog Park Plan. This estimate could even be mitigated further if we could pursue some of the “co-sponsorships” we mentioned in the meeting. Additionally, the COD Foresite Plan called for a 6 month start to finish time frame. There is very little demolition that has to be performed in our plan vs. the Foresite plan. It is our opinion that, planned and executed properly, our proposed plan could be completed in ½ the time as the Foresite Design or approximately 3 months’ time.

Hopefully, this addressed some of the concerns/questions that were raised during the presentation. Please do not hesitate to call on us if you have any further questions or issues that we have not addressed.

We look forward to a favorable result from the City Council Meeting on December 9th and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to present our alternative proposal that saves the COD considerable tax funds.

Best Regards,

John Heneghan said...

As posted in a comment on the Facebook page of the Brook Run Dog Park.

BAD NEWS The City Council will be returning to... - Brook Run Dog Park

I am of the opinion that the Brook Run Dog Park Association (BRDPA) put forward a serious proposal for staying in their current location after pulling in the back corner of the fence line away from Village Oaks and offering to do much of the work themselves.

As the price of moving the park is excessive and the city is not convinced that there is a more suitable location; the City needs to take a serious look at leaving it where it is. No matter what other ideas are presented, the next discussion on the dog park needs to include revisiting the proposal and see if a portion of the money earmarked for dog park relocation should be spent in assisting the BRDPA in preserving the facility where it is at.

I have not seen or been privy to other options that might be proposed and will keep an open mind on all options suggested, but above are my opinions at the moment.

John Heneghan, Dunwoody City Council