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April 27th City Council Meeting, MC Park Updates

The April 27th Brookhaven City Council meeting was an eventful one for Murphey Candler park. MCNA Board Member David Cohen made a statement on behalf of the MCNA regarding the new playground’s lack of equipment for 2-5 year old children and the City Council voted to approve conceptual plans for the Lake House and Murphey Candler Park Pool.

View a recording of the City Council meeting here.

Playground Statement

During the public comment portion of the meeting, MCNA Board Member David Cohen presented a statement to the City Council on behalf of the MCNA. Read the full statement here (PDF 219 KB). David’s comment starts at about 8:30 on the recording, and the city’s response begins around 12:20.

The MCNA is concerned that by installing new playground structures and swings for older children and
removing playground structures appropriate for young children, many families who utilize the park are
left with a loss rather than a gain. In addition, the lack of age-appropriate equipment increases the risk
of accidental injuries by young children using the new playground.

The MCNA supports the use of Park Bond Capital Improvement Program funds to address the significant
lack of age-appropriate playground structures for young children currently in the Horseshoe Loop
Playground. Active play structures suitable for children under the age of five could easily be installed on
the level graded surfaces previously occupied by the old playground equipment.

We feel strongly that the cost of such equipment is feasible in the Park Bond Budget, and the addition of
this equipment would have high approval ratings from residents. In this regard, we commend
Councilmember Linley Jones and Mayor John Ernst for their recent statements acknowledging the lack
of age-appropriate equipment and their commitment to addressing these concerns.

MCNA provided suggestions for age-appropriate playground equipment from the same manufacturer and in the same product line as the equipment already installed at the playground.

The City responded (through Lee Croy, Parks Bond Program Manager) by stating that in addition to the three spring riders, the bottom portions of the large castle structure and nest/basket swing are appropriate for children ages 2-5 with adult supervision. Additionally, two toddler bucket swings remain from the old playground equipment. No indication was made that additional playground structures are being considered at this time.

The manufacturer’s specifications for the new Castle structure (link, PDF) list it as appropriate for ages 5 – 12. Specifications for the double swing set (link, PDF) also have an age range of 5 – 12 listed.

Editor’s Note: I’m not sure what makes the City Council more qualified to access the age appropriateness of playground equipment than a PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER, but it’s clear to me that the City Council and park bond management do not have young children. Expecting a 3 year old to play on the castle without going above the first floor is a real fantasy. – Daniel

Lake House Parking – Option 3 approved

The City Council voted unanimously to approve Lake House parking Option #3 (via resolution 2021-04-06). A presentation regarding the parking options starts around the 20 minute mark of the meeting recording & summary of public feedback starts at 26 minutes.

Lake House Site Plan Option #3 – 100 parking spots, 42 trees removed, 55 trees to be added

A total of 183 responses were received from the public, with options 2 and 3 receiving the most votes. However, neither of these options received a majority of the votes. A summary of responses is presented below.

More information is available on the COB website.

During the meeting, Mack Cain, Lead Landscape Architect for Clark Patterson & Lee, noted that the empty greenspace/lawn in the northern part of the design drawings is too steep for functions, and cannot be graded without destroying “a whole bunch of trees.” Brian Borden, Parks & Recreation Director, noted that the city will consider lighting types, wattage, house shields, and related measures to prevent the parking lot lights from becoming a nuisance to the houses across the street from the lot. Councilwoman Linley Jones received confirmation that sidewalks on the western side of Candler Lake West are not included in the park bond and are not being considered as part of this project.

MCP Pool Parking

The City Council also unanimously approved resolution 2021-04-04 re-affirming and amending the Murphey Candler Pool parking lot plan. The plan calls for the “south” lot to be milled and resurfaced. The “north” lot will be reconstructed and will result in the addition of 30 parking spaces. A sidewalk will be constructed going south from the pool parking lot to the west side playground, and will continue south to the Lake House parking lot from there.

Construction of the pool parking lot is planned to start after the 2021 swim season.

Murphey Candler Pool Parking Lot Plan