Dunwoody City Council is ready to complete the purchase of a property that will add more park land to the city.
The future park will sit on about 15 acres on Dunwoody Park Drive. The 15-acre property is known as the “PVC farm” because of the plastic pipes left in the ground from an unfinished development.
City Manager Warren Hutmacher said there will be a public hearing at the City Council’s April 25 meeting before the council votes on the $5 million purchase.
City officials aren’t yet sure exactly what they’ll do with the property, which wasn’t part of the recent parks planning process. Including the property in the plan at this point would require paying more to the consultants who developed the plan, the city’s Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker told board members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association at its April 17 meeting.
“Have we decided what will go there? No,” Walker said. “There’s potential for that property outside this plan.”
The overall parks plan is to be reconsidered by members of Dunwoody City Council in May.
Some residents have complained about proposals in the plan to remove a pair of baseball fields from Dunwoody Park near the Dunwoody Nature Center and build three new fields at Brook Run Park. The plan also proposes the city find ways to share some recreation facilities at a school adjacent to Brook Run.
At the homeowner’s association board meeting, parents offered another criticism. “There’s a lot of need for soccer fields in the Dunwoody area,” one parent said. “There’s just not a lot of emphasis on sports other than baseball.”
“We’re super limited in space,” Walker replied. “We’re not neglecting [other sports]. This is just the more immediate need.”
One homeowners association board member said residents of the area around Dunwoody Park worried that a planned pavilion in the park would mean “Chastain [Park]-like concerts” there in the future. Walker said that wasn’t true. “You’re not talking a massive amphitheater” in the park, he said.
According to the city’s land use plan, Dunwoody needs more parks. The city has 3.2 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. The National Recreation and Parks Association, an advocacy group, suggests 6.25 to 10.5 acres per 1,000 residents.
City officials also have talked about a bond referendum in November to raise $56 million for parks by raising the city’s millage rate by 1.5 mills.
The city will pay for the “PVC farm” property over seven years. “We already have the money in the bank for it so it’s not going to impact annual obligations,” Hutmacher said.
Once the purchase is complete, Hutmacher estimates it will take 60 to 90 days before the public will have access to the property.
“Once we close on the property, we’ll clean it of any debris or construction remnants. We’ll cap the PVC, subgrade it and put grass on it so there will be opportunity for people to walk dogs, run around and ride bikes, It will just make it a pleasant place to be in the meantime while we make our plans for the property.”
By Melissa Weinman and Joe Earle