Preserve the Oakhurst Dog Park
This petition had 1,153 supporters
Members of the Decatur Planning Commission and City Commission:
We, the undersigned, would like to express our strong concern about the potential loss of valuable green space in Decatur. As was recently reported in Decaturish, the Boys & Girls Club, which currently owns the land occupied by the Oakhurst Dog Park, is planning to sell approximately one third of the land to a private developer for single-family homes.
Recently named one of the top three dog parks in the metro Atlanta area, the Oakhurst Dog Park is a truly special place, especially the wooded area at the back of the park, where neighbors have created a series of trails that delight the dogs and people who walk on them every day. It is also a great human environment: just in the past couple of years the park has spawned a softball team that plays in the Decatur Rec league, many deep friendships, and at least one marriage. Those of us who visit the dog park regularly also contribute to its upkeep by raking and weeding; it is a place that inspires us to give back.
The Oakhurst Dog Park is a valuable community asset that we want to preserve, both for our own use and for future residents. Allowing it to change from a community space to a privately owned pair of houses would be a loss to all Decatur residents, not just those with dogs. For the hundreds of people and pets who use it daily, it is an irreplaceable part of what we love about Decatur. Even for those who merely walk or drive by it, the park offers a beautiful area of mature tree canopy.
In addition to the loss of quality of life that this development would represent, we have serious concerns about the environmental impact of residential building on a parcel of land that currently drains into a flood plain. We are also concerned about the traffic burden new housing development would put on an already busy intersection.
We recognize as well that the Boys & Girls Club is also a valuable and important community asset that enriches the lives of Decatur residents daily. We would like to explore any and all options that would allow the Boys & Girls Club to meet their funding needs while allowing the Oakhurst Dog Park to continue to serve the community.
We feel the City would be short-sighted in the extreme to allow this irrevocable change to take place. We urge our elected officials to halt this project and work with concerned residents to find creative solutions that would allow both the Boys & Girls Club and the Oakhurst Dog Park to thrive.
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