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Monday, April 14, 2008

DeKalb PATH trail photos show construction's impact

Three Forks Heritage Alliance, PATH Foundation, DeKalb County

The controversial PATH trail planned to run between Medlock and Mason Mill Parks in DeKalb County began to take shape last week as work crews clear-cut trees and completed a construction entrance to reach the trail's proposed location. The Three Forks Heritage Alliance, a neighborhood activist group that has been the most vocal opponents of the multi-use trail, have posted before-and-after photos of the construction on its Web site. The group claims that the county and the PATH Foundation — partners in the $1.6-million project — are violating a stop-work order issued by the county's Zoning Board of Appeals.

And it looks like that's something that's happened before in DeKalb County and irks one of the board's members.

From a DeKalb Champion article about the construction:

As construction continued April 10 and 11, it highlighted a continuing trend ZBA member Lundsten referred to during the hearing – that the county is ignoring many decisions made by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Lundsten called the Three Forks case a “home run” to show that the county isn’t even following its own rules.

“How do we get this county to respect the actions of this board?” said Lundsten. “In previous administrations, any action or decisions by the ZBA were final.”

Members of the alliance say the multi-use trail — which has been in the works for more than 10 years — will mar the undisturbed forest that is already popular with residents and parkgoers. They also say the county's goal to increase connectivity in the area with the trail is unrealistic and poorly planned.

A hearing about the construction is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

(Photo Courtesy of Three Forks Heritage Alliance)

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