A court hearing on whether to stop construction of a 12-foot-wide concrete trail through the forest in Brook Run Park is scheduled to begin Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. in DeKalb County Superior Court.

DeKalb Superior Court Judge Judge Tangela M. Barrie is allowing two days for the hearing with testimony to continue on Feb. 1.  The hearing will be in Courtroom 5-C on the fifth floor of the Judicial Tower in the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur, the court said in a scheduling order issued Jan. 15.

Dunwoody homeowners Beverly Armento and Rebecca More have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the city of Dunwoody from building a non-porous concrete, multi-use trail through the park’s forest. The city’s plan for the trail calls for the removal of 337 trees in the first of two phases of trail construction in the park.

Armento and Moore contend the removal of the 337 trees in Phase One of construction would cause storm water runoff, drainage and flooding that would result in irreparable harm to homes in the Lakeview Oaks subdivision that adjoins the forested edge of the park. Attorney Jenny R. Culler, who represents Armento and More, told Judge Barrie in a hearing on Friday, Jan. 4 that she will call a hydrologist to the stand who will support Armento’s and More’s contention.

City Attorney Cecil McClendon says a separate hydrology report conducted at the request of the city came to a different conclusion.

Culler had no comment on Jan. 16. City officials have said in the past they cannot comment on pending litigation.

Construction of the trail has been halted under a temporary restraining order issued Dec. 13 and extended by Barrie on Jan. 4.

–Tom Oder

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.