Oakhurst Dog Park going to the humans
The wooded area of the Oakhurst Dog Park provides a place for pups to frolic and play. It’s also sitting on a piece of the dog park that’s not in a flood plain.
That makes it valuable, something that’s not lost on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. They’ve received an offer from Weaver Capital Partners. The developer wants to purchase the half acre of property, subdivide it, cut down the trees and build two homes there. It would represent a 32 percent decrease in the overall area of the park.
About 10 people showed up to an input meeting held on Dec. 1 at the Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club on East Lake Drive. Jay Weaver, a founding partner with the development firm, and Ken Collins, CFO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta were on hand to answer any questions.
While the city maintains the dog park, it is owned by the Boys & Girls Club, which leases it to the city for $1 a year.
Collins said while he understands the concerns residents have about turning a green space over to a developer, but said the park falls outside of the scope of services Boys & Girls Club provides.
“That’s not our mission, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s not to provide dog parks.”
Weaver said he’s also made an offer to the property owner of the area behind the dog park, but the owner isn’t interested in selling. He said the development will comply with the city’s recently-updated tree ordinance, which requires compensation for trees removed from properties during the course of a development. Residents asked Weaver to replant some of the trees to be a buffer between the new homes and the rest of the park.
The subdivision of the property will be discussed at a Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 9 at 7 pm and a City Commission meeting on Dec. 15, at 7:30 pm. Both meetings are open to the public and will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street.
There will be opportunities for public input, but residents at the meeting conceded there is little that can be done to stop the project. It doesn’t mean they have to like it.
“The wooded part is what makes our dog park stand out and be special,” resident Melissa Rockwell said. “I have a dog that really enjoys running through the woods, and it will stink to lose that.”