Sandy Springs will apply for a $200,000 state grant to jump-start its planned Crooked Creek Park, but the price may be going up in a right of way dispute with a neighboring apartment complex.

An illustration showing a trail connecting the new Crooked Creek Park, at bottom, along the creek to the Holcomb Bridge section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, at top, and winding through its woodland. (City of Sandy Springs)

The intended park is 5 wooded acres at Spalding and River Exchange drives in the panhandle. In October, the city announced it would team with the National Park Service to link its park with a currently inaccessible part of the Chattachoochee River National Recreation Area via a walking trail.

At a non-voting City Council work session Dec. 5, members informally approved applying for a state Department of Natural Resources trail grant, which the city would match with $50,000.

However, the proposed trail would run through the property of the Retreat at River Park apartment complex, which sits between the parks, whose owner is identified in county records as Utah-based Cottonwood Residential.

City Manager John McDonough said the owners have security concerns about a trail and that six to eight conversations had not resolved the issue. “I think we’ve come to loggerheads with it,” he told the council, adding that he asked a city staff attorney to have one more discussion. He said he expects more information in time for the next council meeting on Dec. 19.

“I think, either way, our plan is to move forward,” city Parks and Recreation Director Michael Perry told the council about the conversations.

Cottonwood Residential did not respond to a request for comment.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.