DeKalb County District 1 Commissioner Nancy Jester has pledged $353,400 to support the purchase of 1.7 acres of green space near Murphey Candler Park utilizing funds from the DeKalb County 2001 Parks Bond Fund, according to a city of Brookhaven press release.
The property is located at the end of a cul-de-sac on Remington Road, near Murphey Candler Park and an existing 5.4-acre wooded parcel owned by the Ashford Glen Homeowners Association. The sales price matches the appraised value of $353,400, the release states.
The Brookhaven City Council will consider a resolution at its Tuesday, March 28 meeting, to “maintain the property as green space without facilities or public amenities,” according to the release.
“Preserving natural green space is a tall order in District 1, as land values are high due to the demand for development,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester in the press release.
“This purchase is an effective use of Park Bond funds as it helps preserve nature near Murphey Candler Park, one of the greatest recreational areas in DeKalb,” Jester stated. “I am excited for this project and plan to put it before the DeKalb Board of Commissioners for approval at the next opportunity.”
A single-family home that has been vacant for 12 years is currently on the property that has a wooded yard that backs up to Nancy Creek. Neighbors in the area already use the land as a neighborhood park where children play and adults walk and run.
A contentious meeting was held in September in which several residents living in the area spoke out against the city purchasing the property, claiming the city planned to develop the site for parking for Murphey Candler Park or create a public park with amenities, leading to people parking on their neighborhood streets.
The city says it plans to keep the area as undeveloped green space and the resolution specifies that the “property will be returned to its natural condition with the structure, pool and driveway removed, and install curbing where the driveway would meet the street to prohibit vehicular access,” according to the release.
“This parks grant from Commissioner Jester will allow Brookhaven to quell any lingering concerns about any development on that property, as well as remove the vacant structures that could be a magnet for blight,” said Brookhaven City Council Member Linley Jones in the press release.
“Any time the city can expand its green space holdings we should, in keeping with the vision of the Comprehensive Plan,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst in the press release. “It’s even better when we can do it in a partnership, which mitigates the budgetary impact to the city. The city of Brookhaven is grateful for Commissioner Jester’s support.”
At the September meeting, Jones, who represents those living on Remington Road in District 1, said she first got the idea of the city purchasing the land “in the heart of Brookhaven” after talking to residents who wanted to save it from redevelopment — perhaps from someone who wanted to build a large estate on the land and then ban anyone from using the property. She said the idea would be to keep the land as it is, if that is what the community wanted to do.