By Tom Oder
The Temporary Restraining Order that has halted construction of a 12-foot wide non-porous multi-use concrete trail through Brook Run Park and the removal of 337 trees in the trail’s path was extended Friday evening in DeKalb County Superior Court.
Saying she needed more time to study briefs in the case, Judge Tangela M. Barrie said she needed to look at her calendar, which is full for the next several weeks to set a new date.
Judge Barrie also placed the burden at the next hearing squarely on Jenny R. Culler, an attorney with Stack & Associates, P.C., who filed the TRO request on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case, Dunwoody homeowners Beverly Armento and Dr. Rebecca More. Judge Barrie told Culler she would have to show that by proceeding with construction of the trail and removal of trees, there would be flooding that would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs. Judge Barrie characterized irreparable harm as harm that can’t be fixed.
“We felt like we have met the burden of proof” required by the court, Culler said as she left the courthouse. She added that she plans to do that in more detail with an expert witness at the full hearing.
Mayor Mike Davis, one of a group of city officials at the hearing, called those who oppose the location of the trail a minority.
“We’ve never been opposed to the trail,” Armento said after the hearing.
Armento has emphasized previously that she does not oppose the building of a multi-use trail in the park. Her opposition, she has said, is to the current plans for the location of the trail in the park’s intact forest and the potential for harm that the trail and removal of hundreds of trees could cause in the form of possible storm water runoff and drainage into the adjoining Lakeview Oaks subdivision. Armento is the immediate past president of the Lakeview Oaks Homeowners Association.
“The hydrology report used to justify the project is fatally flawed,” Culler said of the city’s plans for the trail after the TRO was issued. She filed the restraining order to ensure that the city didn’t move forward with the destruction of hundreds of trees in Brook Run Park before the court had a chance to hear the matter, she said at the time.