Dunwoody residents reviewing the latest concept for a new city park questioned whether it would flood nearby streams, create traffic problems for nearby residents and whether it should include an amphitheater.

More than 50 residents attended a public meeting at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on Nov. 19 to look over the latest plans for the 5-acre park at the corner of North Shallowford Road and Pernoshal Court.

Construction of the proposed park is scheduled to begin next year as part of the city redevelopment effort known as Project Renaissance. The redevelopment project is intended to build parks, housing and shops on 35 acres in the Georgetown area of the city that had been the former site of Emory Dunwoody Hospital and an abandoned housing development that had been nicknamed the “PVC pipe farm.”

Residents seemed on the whole to welcome the idea of the park. “I’m just glad to see the property where the hospital was is going to be utilized,” George Houston said as he reviewed the large drawings showing the kinds of recreation facilities the city might include in the park.

But several residents raised questions about the design.

“I think they’re trying to do too much with this 5-acre space,” David Whittenton said. “I think it could be a little better planned.”

City officials said they would take the comments to park designers. Dunwoody City Council is to take another look at the plan on Dec. 9.  “This plan isn’t written in concrete,” City Councilman Denny Shortal told the crowd. “These are the latest ideas.”

The latest plan for the 5-acre park, one of four parks being developed in Project Renaissance, calls for two playgrounds; a multi-use court set up for basketball and other games; an open, multi-use field for sports; a picnic area; a multi-use trail; restrooms; and the amphitheater.

Several people attending the meeting argued the amphitheater would be too close to a busy street, so noise would interrupt performances. They argued the amphitheater should be put in Brook Run Park, which is much larger.

Lynne Nault, who lives nearby on Pernoshal Court, worried about the noise from performances and crowds at the amphitheater. And, she said, “we don’t need all these trails.”

Iris Reily said she felt that, over all, the park “looks pretty good.” But, she said, “I’m a little worried about the noise from the amphitheater. I’d rather see a nice Zen garden.”

Kristin and Justin Moore, who live near the proposed park, worried about traffic the park might attract to their street.

“I think it’s great for the city of Dunwoody, but maybe not so great for the [neighbors],” Kristin Moore said.

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.