The popular dog park in Dunwoody’s Brook Run closed for two days  after construction workers on starting Feb. 26 moved heavy equipment into the area to do maintenance and start construction of a controversial multi-use trail.

The dog park was scheduled to be closed again Feb. 27, the city announced.

The closing limited access to a second popular feature of the park, the community garden, but city officials said the garden had not been officially closed.

The dog park was closed because of safety concerns stemming from tree removal, Dunwoody police Officer Minh Pham said.

“We are making sure people don’t go through, so no one gets hurt,” said Pham, whose patrol car blocked the road through the park Tuesday morning.

The tree removal begins just several days after DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela M. Barrie denied a request to revive an injunction that had temporarily stopped trail construction. On Feb. 4, Barrie lifted the injunction that had temporarily halted construction of the trail.

The injunction stemmed from a lawsuit almost two dozen residents of the Lakeview Oaks subdivision, which is adjacent to a portion of the park, have filed against the city to stop the trail construction in the forest. The plaintiffs are concerned about possible erosion and water runoff from the 12-foot-wide impervious concrete trail the city is building through the woods.

The plaintiffs have appealed their case to the state Supreme Court. One of the original plaintiffs in the case, Beverly Armento, said the plaintiffs will ask the state high court to issue a temporary injunction again halting construction until the court can hear the appeal. Meanwhile, the lawsuit against the city remains active in DeKalb Superior Court.

Armento and the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Jenny Culler, were at Brook Run on Feb. 26 to observe the work.

“After our review of the erosion controls today, we have some real concerns about how much mud is about to escape the site and end up in the streams,” Culler said in an email. “We will be detailing our concerns for the city in hopes that they will take some further action to better protect the streams.”

City officials have said they cannot comment on the construction of the trail while the matter is in court.

–Tom Oder

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.