By Gerhard Schneibel
gerhard@reporternewspapers.net

The Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved a master plan June 17 for the redevelopment of Morgan Falls Park. However, it did so with an amendment sending plans for the riverfront section of the park back to Lawrence­ville-based Lose and Associates, Inc., for architectural redesign, Recreation and Parks Director Ronnie Young said.

“The city manager asked [the council] to hold off on the river park section that is being redrawn,” he said. “Some questions were raised about the number of parking spaces. Some of that was being reconfigured — the location of the parking lot, the location of the playground … all those areas where public comments where made.”

The city has budgeted $3 million in fiscal 2009 for work on the Morgan Falls Athletic Ball Fields, $1.7 million for Morgan Falls River Park and $200,000 for a dog park. The plan includes 10 baseball diamonds, a football field and boat launches.

“I think it’s an excellent plan, and I think it will be a focal point as far as leisure services in the Morgan Falls area — the whole thing down there once it’s completed,” Young said. “It’ll be something to really enhance our community.”

The riverfront section of the park will give people with human-powered boats access to the Chattahoochee River.

“Access to the river below [Morgan Falls Dam] and above the dam for kayaks and rafts and canoes … all that can just be a great leisure feature in itself. Plus there is the aesthetic of the benches, the pavilions and the playgrounds,” Young said.

The city may eventually work with neighboring jurisdictions in trying to build a bridge across the Chattahoochee connecting the park with the Cobb County park system.

“They’ve been talking about the possibility,” Young said, adding that two locations are being considered for a bridge.

“I certainly think with the three components — the sports complex, the dog park area, including the kayak storage and launch, and then the river park itself — are going to be unique to the city of Sandy Springs and will offer some amenities and leisure services for the community that we certainly haven’t had,” he said.

Visit www.reporternewspapers.net for architectural draftings of the Morgan Falls Park master plan.