Brookhaven has come to an agreement with DeKalb County over the ownership of Brookhaven Park. 

At a Tuesday Brookhaven City Council meeting, the council approved a settlement and intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County transferring the eastern section of Brookhaven Park – or the section next to Peachtree Road – to the city for $1. 

“This day is a big deal to not just us and the government who have been working very hard to get this deal done, but also to so many community members who have been really patient throughout this process,” said District 3 Councilmember Madeleine Simmons. “It’s unfortunate that we had to sue the county to get any movement on this … but I’m very thankful that the DeKalb County Commissioners Board worked with us to come to this resolution.” 

Brookhaven passed a $40 million park bond in 2018, which included improvements for all of the city’s parks. However, improvements to Brookhaven Park were delayed due to land disputes between the city and the county. 

The city has been trying to purchase the eastern part of the park for years while maintaining ownership of the western portion. Because access to the park is located on the eastern portion, the city had to apply for access easements to begin construction on its side of the park, beginning that process in 2020. The following year, the city sued the county seeking to try and gain ownership of the eastern part of the park. 

In addition to buying the land for $1, the city of Brookhaven has agreed to donate $1.6 million to the county for a new City of Brookhaven Library. The county had previously stated it wanted to build a new library on its section of Brookhaven Park. 

“This city will not be paying that money until the county actually starts construction on that library,” Simmons said.

Now that the agreement has been reached, the city can work on finding a construction company to complete the improvements in the Brookhaven Park Master Plan. Those improvements include better parking, updates to the dog park, a new pavilion, updates to the playground, and more. 

Simmons said that in addition to those improvements, the Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department would be implementing some immediate temporary cosmetic fixes, such as mending fences and cleaning up the greenspace.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.