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Posted by on August 21, 2012.

Buckhead: City eyes additional park space at Chastain

In Buckhead, land for parks is a precious commodity.

But the city of Atlanta will have more of it soon, and as a result the community may be able to increase its total green space by more than 17 acres, the city’s parks commissioner says.

George Dusenbury, Atlanta Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, speaks the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting on Aug. 9

and gave residents an update about some of the park department’s plans.

Two possibilities are on the horizon, he said: the Department of Watershed Management and the city’s Department of Public Works will be moving out. When they go, public works will leave 15 acres and watershed management will leave 2.5 acres, according to Dusenbury and the Chastain Park master plan. Both of these locations are within the North Fulton Golf Course.

Dusenbury said the extra space presents some “interesting” possibilities for the park, like moving one of the holes at the golf course to free up space elsewhere. But he said the city will need to carefully consider its options before moving forward.

“Our goal is to have an open conversation,” he said. “It’s very hard to find land in Buckhead. We want to take our time and think about it.”

Chastain Park consists of 268 acres along West Wieuca Road and includes a recreation center, youth baseball fields, an amphitheater, a tennis center and a horse park. The North Fulton Golf Course is an 18-hole course co-designed by famed Atlanta golfer Bobby Jones, according to Americangolf.com

Dusenbury said the city’s vision is to have a park within a half-mile walk of every resident of Atlanta. Buckhead is one of the most underparked communities in Atlanta, particularly in District 7, represented by City Councilman Howard Shook.

Livable Buckhead is currently implementing a vision for green space in the district, known as The Buckhead Collection, to promote and increase parks in the district.

Dusenbury also briefed residents on other projects, including plans to create a park at a controversial development around the Lindbergh Marta Station. The proposed development, a mixed use concept with Walmart as an anchor tenant, would have a 3 acre park Shook told the BCN.

Neighbors are pressuring Shook to oppose that development, however.

Dusenbury said the city has hired off-duty Atlanta Police Officers to enforce park rules. He said the officers already have made more than a half dozen arrests, including two arrests for selling alcohol in the park.

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