Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker, left, discusses dog park plans with residents last year.
Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker, left, discusses dog park plans with residents last year.

By Ralph Ellis

It looks like the dog park at Brook Run Park isn’t moving – at least not very far.

The Dunwoody City Council on Monday night went thumbs down on the idea of relocating the dog park to 2½ acres close to the Brook Run entrance, near the skate park.

Instead, the council instructed Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker to investigate ways to shift the footprint of the 4-acre park without moving far from its current home near the edge of the Brook Run property.

The dog park battle has been waged for several years. Park lovers say it’s a community hub for humans, not just a place for canines to exercise. On Monday, people fighting the move showed up in force, many of them wearing red shirts.

“It’s one of the most-used and most-loved places,” Chantal Andersen said. “If it’s not broke don’t fix it.”

But Beverly Armento of the Lakeview Oaks subdivision warned, “It’s not wise to willingly kill off four acres of hardwoods.”

She referred to one of the key arguments for moving the dog park, an arborist’s report that said the dog park damaged trees and caused erosion.

Armento and other Lakeview Oaks residents have complained for years about noise from the dog park, which is just across the fence from the subdivision. Council members kept coming back to that point.

“People come first,” council member Denis Shortal said.

“The priority should be our Lakeview Oaks neighbors,” council member Terry Nall said.

He said he didn’t like any of the options on the table, including modifications suggested by the Brook Run Dog Park Association. “We could pick up the footprint of the dog park as it exists today and shift it,” Nall said.

That’s essentially what the council asked Walker to do.

Walker sounded weary of the controversy. “We are at a point where we have to do something,” he said.

He’d recommended moving the dog park to the slightly smaller spot near the skate park, though admitting that was an imperfect solution that could create new problems.

Late last year, the city council deferred a decision on that recommendation. On Monday night, they put it to rest.