After a year-long delay, the design for the Windsor Meadows Park is back on track, though it will likely take at least another year for construction to start on the city’s newest park.
An updated design for the 4-acre park at Windsor Parkway and Northland Drive was unveiled at an Aug. 1 meeting at the Church of the Atonement. The passive-use park will include some resident-requested amenities, like bicycle racks, but no dog park or disc golf course, said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun.
The park’s site is where three houses were destroyed in a 2009 flood of the adjacent Nancy Creek. The city purchased the land through a federal flood mitigation grant program. Due to the floodplain location, the plan requires review by the Georgia and Federal Emergency Management Agencies and cannot contain structures, such as fences, that could block floodwater.
In 2014, the Sandy Springs Conservancy and the High Point Civic Association presented the Windsor Meadows Park concept for the site. Possible amenities include paths, benches and trees. The Sandy Springs City Council agreed to provide $300,000 in funds.
A year ago, the city submitted the plan to GEMA, while also revealing that three parking spaces had been added to the plan to serve visitors and maintenance crews. The parking sparked some complaints from neighbors concerned that Windsor Meadows could become a “destination park” rather than a local amenity.
Shortly afterward, GEMA advised the city to withdraw the park design from review pending approval of a nearby pedestrian bridge and sidewalks on Windsor Parkway. It is unclear why GEMA advised that. The city put the bridge project out to bid in June.
The updated design presented at the Aug. 1 meeting is essentially the same as last year’s version, including trails, trees and the three parking spaces. Residents requested moving the parking area’s driveway entrance, but Kraun said that would have “too many associated negative impacts.”
“We were asked about adding bike racks, which were already on our planning table,” Kraun said. “We heard from several that they want the park to remain passive, and along that line was a request for no night lighting. The park will open at 8 a.m. and close at dusk.”
“We’ll incorporate dog waste stations, but no inclusion of chain link fences to create a dog park, which FEMA will not permit,” Kraun said. “We had a request to create a Frisbee golf area, but the site is not large enough to accommodate a disc golf course.”
Kraun also said that bird feeders and bat nesting boxes will be included, but a request for a herd of goats to eat invasive weeds is “not likely to happen.”
The park design is still “in process,” she said, but the next step is government review and permitting. Kraun said the city has to approve its own plan through the normal permitting process and may do that step first. Next would be review for flood impacts by GEMA and FEMA, a step that can take a year or more.