By Maggie Lee
Signs at Chastain Park warn pedestrians to watch out for golf balls. One neighbor got so fed up with balls flying into his yard that he asked permission to put up a 40-foot net. Instead, he may end up with trees worth thousands of dollars.
David Ogram lives due west of Chastain Park, with the two lanes of Powers Ferry Road running between golfers and the yard where his two young children play.
But when he approached his neighborhood planning unit, the first stop for zoning changes, they shot down his plan for a variance from the area fence ordinance. Brink Dickerson, NPU-A chair, said “Everybody was sympathetic to the problem, but everybody also believed that the solution lies on the other side of the street.”
Undeterred, Ogram came back on May 3 to ask for a temporary permit for a kind of fence or net, just until some trees can grow tall.
“I’m here with a better proposal,” said Ray Mock, operations director for the Chastain Park Conservancy. His office on the south end of the park is the landing zone for about 3,000 golf balls per month.
“I’ve had dents in my truck,” he said.
But he also noted that his office is surrounded by thick trees that halt most of the errant golf balls, which fall softly to the ground.
And he’s got one extra that no longer fit his space. Mock offered a large and “very valuable” 25-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide cryptomeria, an evergreen usually grown in a Christmas tree shape. He also said an area nurseryman is looking to move a few unsold overgrown ones if Ogram will pay for moving them.
At about $1,700 to move each tree, it would cost less to move the trees than to build the net, Mock said.
Ogram said it sounded reasonable.
The NPU deferred any action while Ogram and Mock negotiate.