Kids and teens could be swinging through the trees at Brook Run Park if council goes for Dunwoody staff’s recommendation to build a tree canopy obstacle course in a four-acre area of the park. This topic was up for council discussion at the meeting Monday night Treetop Quest approached the city with the idea of building the obstacle course in the park. The Atlanta-based company has a similar course in Buford.
In a memo to council, Parks and Recreation Manager Brent Walker explained how this course could fill a critical need of providing recreational opportunities for middle and high school aged children. This need was identified in the city’s parks master plan. “This key demographic is underserved by our existing amenities,” wrote Walker.
A deal with the company would bring some revenue to the city through participant admission fees. Treetop Quest would work with arborists to ensure the safety of trees and by using wooden wedges to protect trees from cables. In their company brochure, Treetop Quest indicates a need for an onsite building to serve as a front office, storage room, cashier’s desk and information center. A standard obstacle course is described as one with five levels 70 platforms, and 80 obstacles.
The city would ensure the course maintains adequate buffers to protect residential property that borders that part of the park while rejuvenating an underutilized part of city parkland, wrote Walker.
In other park news, the city recently solicited contractors to move the Brook Run dog park to a new location. Council deferred a similar action late last year as some members hoped residents and the Brook Run Dog Park Association would reach a compromise.
Some residents in Lakeview Oaks, adjacent to the dog park, expressed several concerns including noise, and soil compaction and erosion which can lead to flooding. The dog park association met with neighbors, but the meetings did not result in compromise.
Councilor John Heneghan posted on his blog that dog park users and the association are unhappy with the city’s decision to move the dog park. He wrote that council will weigh all sides and proposals to make a decision.
In other news, council was expected to review and approve an Intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County for a joint project to replace water mains and repave segments of several streets including Mount Vernon Road, Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Tilly Mill Road, North Peachtree Road and Peeler Road.
The terms of the agreement include financial responsibility of water main replacement is with the county while the city will pick up the tab for paving as the water mains are replaced. No dates were provided in city documents in reference to the project’s start.
In 911 news, council was expected to hear that the project to connect two 911 centers, ChatComm and DeKalb, was on target for completion at the end of May. In a memo to council, Assistant to the City Manager Kimberly Greer wrote that operational testing of the interface has not uncovered any issues since an April update.
Also on the agenda was a discussion about renewing the city’s contract with ChatComm which expires in August. Acting City Manager Bill Grogan wrote council that the annual cost for 911 services would increase to $1.125 million, a 4.7 percent increase.
In zoning, council was also to discuss awarding a contract to Duncan Associates to develop a zoning district for Perimeter Center. The firm recently completed work with the city on rewriting zoning and land development codes which were adopted late last year.
During that rewrite, council decided the Perimeter area required a separate zoning district to “ensure high quality development as the area continues its transition from a suburban commercial district into a more contemporary, urban center,” according to a memo written by Rebecca Keefer, city planner and director of sustainability.
Keefer’s memo informed council that Duncan Associates was the only bidder for this project and city staff recommended that council retain the firm for just over $98,000.
In other zoning news, Steve Foote, director of community development, was to present suggested changes for areas of the recently adopted zoning and land development codes. The changes resulted from a review of how the new codes were working. Foote was expected to share a list of more than 40 items that may need tweaking or clarification.
New changes to the zoning codes would go through the Community Council, Planning Commission, and council. Foote expects the revised ordinances to be back before council by July or August.