Proposed Brookhaven Park Plans: Highlights, Concerns and Recommendations

I sent this email to Joe Gebbia, our Brookhaven District 4 City Councilman, to provide my view on the Brookhaven Park proposed renovations.

Hi Joe –

As a member of District 4 I wanted to reach out to you about the proposed Brookhaven Park site plans. There are three main aspects of Brookhaven Park that my fiance (CC’d) and I love. I’d like to highlight these and show how the proposed plans negatively impact those features and would like to propose some solutions for them.

  1. Off Leash Dog Area
    1. We enjoy bringing out mini schnauzer to Brookhaven Park because of how dog friendly it is. We live in a town home neighborhood (Views at Lenox Crossing) and do not have the luxury of such a large outdoor dog area in our area. Lenox Park has a dog park nearby but we do not visit it because of its size (very small) and the poor landscaping (all mulch). Brookhaven Park, however, is large and expansive. It also has a variety of landscape features (grass, mulch, trees, hills, etc.)
    2. We are very concerned about the proposed size of the enclosed dog area (2 acres). This is very small compared to other respected dog parks, namely Piedmont Park. In fact, Piedmont Park’s dog area is 50% larger (3 acres). Unlike the dog owners that attended the first meeting, I am not opposed to fencing in the dog area. My concern is making it smaller for no real reason.
    3. Solution: Expand existing proposal to include the back field (where the goats currently are), ideally doubling in size. This increase will allow for current dog owners to continue throwing tennis balls and for other dogs to wander unobstructed through different terrain that is currently underutilized by other visitors. My guess is this will double the current proposal size.
  2. Additional Parking
    1. This feature is a bit puzzling to me but I’m also late to the game. Was this a requirement given to the consultants to expand the parking? I usually visit the park once a month, mainly on weekends, and have never had an issue with parking. I don’t think reducing the size of our green space to accommodate more parking spaces is wise for the future of our community. It definitely sets a poor example for future development needs. I love how green our city is, and, unfortunately, the city has done a poor job maintaining that landscape.
    2. Solution: If we absolutely need additional parking then I suggest a rework of the current parking area. The current parking area is poorly laid out and, I imagine, a solution could easily be discovered.
  3. Green space
    1. There are a number of trails proposed for the park which will take away green space, which is a great feature that can be rented out to adult sports leagues. It appears in the proposal that Brookhaven Park will start to resemble Centennial Olympic Park with its many sidewalks and pavement paths. An attractive feature for our lush city. Additionally, the proposal show the new parking lot in an area where trees are in abundance. To remove trees to make way for unnecessary parking is shameful. I’ve provided a parking solution in my second bullet.
    2. Solution: Reduce the number of running trails to enable the ability for the city to rent the park out for adult sport leagues. Leaving trees untouched is an important feature of our city and removing them for a parking lot is laughable. Please don’t make us laugh.

Maintaining as much green space as possible should be the only concern of this proposal. To add additional features should address specific needs of the community, not to bolster a consulting companies portfolio.

Thanks for your time and for representing District 4.

Feel free to reach out out to me at any time.
– Nik Fuller

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