An appeal to revisit the decision to allow a developer to route a drainpipe through Peachtree Hills Park was approved by the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission May 17. The developer, Ashton Woods, has appealed that decision to Superior Court.

The Atlanta City Council voted May 1 to pass an ordinance that will allow a developer, Ashton Woods, to run the pipe through the park and into Peachtree Creek, cutting down trees in the process. The proposal to cut down trees in a public park brought opposition from residents, including Laura Dobson, who made an appeal to the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission.

That commission upheld an appeal May 17 that the decision to allow a storm water drainpipe to be run through Peachtree Hills Park must be revisited, but didn’t uphold two other parts of Dobson’s appeal.

Dobson’s appeal addressed three problems she had with the council’s decision: allowing the removal of street trees, the removal of boundary trees (on the border between the park and the construction site), and allowing the drainpipe to be installed in the park.

The only part of her appeal upheld concerned the drainpipe, and the commission requested that the park arborist review the plan and make a recommendation on whether the pipe needs to run through Peachtree Hills Avenue or the park.

The developer has filed an appeal to Superior Court over the commission upholding one part of Dobson’s appeal.

The developer’s attorney Carl Westmoreland said they filed the appeal on June 16, shortly before the end of the 30-day deadline.

Westmoreland said he hopes they can work out a solution with the city and not have to continue with the appeal to higher court, but filed just in case they can’t come to a resolution.

Dobson wanted to appeal the decision to not uphold the other two parts of her appeal, but was unable to navigate the process on her own and couldn’t find counsel to represent her. She will attend Ashton Woods’ hearings, however.

“Unfortunately, after living at the Fulton County Law Library and annoying absolutely everyone there and in the Clerk of Superior Court office, I had to come to the conclusion that a court case was beyond my ability and knowledge,” Dobson said. “With much regret, I could not pursue it,” she said in an email.

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