Back to the Drawing Board: Plan B for Dog Park Won't Work
On Friday, a Stone Mountain city council member asked the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA) about moving the city's controversial dog play space to an area in Stone Mountain Park, but it can't happen, SMMA leadership said.
Stone Mountain city council member Steve Higgins on Friday met with Bob Cowhig, Stone Mountain Memorial Association's director of planning and development, about the possibility of relocating the city's controversial dog park to an area of Stone Mountain Park.
Higgins suggested a wooded area off a trail into the park. The trail begins at the Visitors Center on Main Street in the City of Stone Mountain and meanders into Stone Mountain Park.
Through e-mail correspondence, Cowhig told Patch that the location is in the park's natural district and would require clearing one to two acres of trees.
"They are welcome to keep the park in the current location but that’s all we have to offer," Cowhig wrote in his e-mail. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association owns the land on which the dog park sits, at Poole and Third Streets.
"I didn't think the park would be interested," Higgins told Patch Friday. "They said they had talked about a dog park previously and the consensus was they don't want a dog park in Stone Mountain Park because it's too much trouble."
"That spot would require quite a bit of work and they're not in favor of cutting any trees," Higgins said.
Higgins had also inquired about another part of the park property that's clearer, but it's mostly open to the public only for educational purposes, he said.
If the city relocates the park, it would have to put the property back in the shape it was before it became a dog park, requiring plowing it up and reseeding it, Higgins said.
Under the agreement with SMMA, the city can only use the property as a dog park, Cowhig said in an e-mail: "If the city were to abandon it reverts to green space at the city’s expense."
The Stone Mountain city council voted unanimously in December to close Red Dog Park until further notice. Nearby residents told the council that there were ongoing issues such as the noise level, parking on private property and people arriving with their pets during off-hours. People in favor of the dog park said it built relationships, brought business to the city, and exercised and socialized their dogs.
Higgins said he's continuing to investigate options.
The city council plans to discuss the dog park at its retreat on Saturday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m. at the new City Hall, 875 Main Street. The meeting is open to the public but there will be no public comment period.
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