The legal battle over the Brook Run Trail has ended as residents of the Lakeview Oaks subdivision voluntarily dismissed a suit against the City of Dunwoody seeking to stop construction of the trail, their lawyer said May 20.

The decision follows a 4-3 ruling by the state Supreme Court denying an emergency motion for injunction filed by the residents’ lawyer, Jenny Culler of Stack & Associates, P.C., to halt the trail through the Brook Run forest.

Culler took the case to the state’s highest court after DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela M. Barrie in early February denied request that the court to temporarily halt construction of the trail while their lawsuit against the city was pending.

In the meantime, work on Phase I of the trail has continued and is near completion. The residents have been watching the city’s progress in designing and developing Phase II of the trail, and have had several talks with city officials about the importance of storm water controls, Culler said.

“The city broke the law by failing to study the downstream impacts of Phase I of the trail and failing to put in storm water control for Phase I,” resident and plaintiff Beverly Armento said.

“We absolutely believe that and stand by that.  But with Phase II, there is a golden opportunity to make it right.  We have decided to dismiss the lawsuit for now in order to see if the city will make good on its promise to look at the impacts of the entire trail on our subdivision and to make sure we are not flooded by Brook Run Park.”

The residents have left open the possibility that they might do so, according to a statement by Culler. The plaintiffs – or others – can bring suit later on if the trail starts flooding their properties, Culler said.

“We hope the city will avail itself of the opportunity to design and construct Phase II properly,” Culler said.

id.  “Litigation is always a last resort, but we will be watching very carefully. If the government breaks the law or damages these properties, we will see them back 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.