Dunwoody dog park slated to move despite residents' plea

Dunwoody dog park slated to move despite residents' plea

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DUNWOODY, Ga. -

Dog parks are supposed to be a friendly zone for dogs and their humans, but plans to move a popular dog park in Dunwoody are bringing out the bite in everyone.  

For hundreds of pooches and their owners in the area, the Brook Run Dog Park is part of their daily routine.  But it's now at the heart of a bitter battle over the city's decision to relocate it.  They say the move comes because experts have warned them that the trees are in dangers.

Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker says experts have told them the trees wouldn't be able to survive if the dog park remains there, and they would begin to deteriorate within 5-7 years.

The Brook Run Dog Park Association hired their own expert, who refutes the city's claims.  

City officials say the plan to relocate the dog park has been in the works since 2011 with the input of park users, but dog park advocates say the recent unveiling of the new park design is not what they agreed to.

"We told them we needed to have four acres," said resident Carl Neigoot.  "They said there would be four acres.  When they unveiled the plans in the middle of the summer, that was the first we heard there would be four acres, but you can only use one acre at a time."

Walker says the plan allows the city to do restoration work that is necessary.  

"It's just like any sports field," Walker said.  "You have to go in and re-turf a football field, do work on the infield and outfield of a baseball field outside of the season."

According to dog park advocates, the new design—which will cost the city nearly $200,000—has a host of issues that will stress dogs out and require constant maintenance.  City officials say the move will happen with or without residents' approval.

"We're not trying to harm anybody," said Walker.  "We're not trying to make it difficult to have fun with their dogs.  I have dogs.  I go to dog parks all the time.  They don't know the difference between one or the other."

The plans for the park are moving forward.  A request for bids expires in early December.

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