Plans for a Dunwoody’s first youth soccer program to take place at the field at the new Park at Pernoshal Court were passed off by the City Council to a future date so league officials can come back with specific times the park would be in use by the program.
At the June 13 Dunwoody City Council meeting, members questioned the agreement between the city and the Chiefs Futbol Club because the league wanted exclusive use of the park from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and weekends during league play.
“This seems excessive … and unreasonable,” Councilmember John Heneghan told Brent Walker, manager of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Councilmembers worried about the park’s not being available to all community residents as it was intended, such as for pick-up soccer games or football games.
The Chiefs Futbol Club league play at the Park at Pernoshal Court would be for those ages 3 to 7 and would take place in the fall and spring with some play in the summer, according to a league representative.
The league is requesting to have the field available for practice from perhaps 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weeknights with the actual games played on Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons with some matches also played on Sunday mornings. However, that information is not included in an official document to be signed by league and city officials. Rather, the agreement states, “The Club shall be able to utilize the field on the [field] on Sundays-Saturdays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.”
Walker wrote in a memo to council members that by working with the soccer league, the city would allow for youth athletes to stay in their home city rather than travel out of town to play soccer.
“After meeting with the Georgia Soccer Association, staff has determined that the Chiefs Futbol Club is currently the largest provider of soccer programs to Dunwoody youth … Based on this data it was determined that an agreement with the Chiefs Futbol Club would allow the Parks Department to better serve city residents and reduce the requirement to travel to other municipalities to receive these types of services,” Walker stated.
Councilmember Doug Thompson praised the future relationship between the city park and a youth sports program because there are so few athletic fields in Dunwoody.
“This is a great day for Dunwoody. This is the first step of many and where we needed to be headed,” he said.
The Chiefs Futbol Club currently operates programs at Pleasantdale Park, Silverbacks Park, Dunwoody Baptist Church, Dunwoody United Methodist Church, Sagamore Hills Elementary School, Evansdale Elementary School, Laurel Ridge Elementary School, Annunciation Day School, and Hawthorne Elementary School in DeKalb County, according to Walker.
The recently completed park is approximately five acres and is the largest newly-built park created since the city’s incorporation. In addition to the multi-use trail, the park has a centralized pavilion/restroom facility, 162 parking spaces for park and trail users, passive and active open areas/fields for sports and basketball courts with a pickleball court overlay.