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Brookhaven Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net

JAN. 23 — FEB. 5, 2015 • VOL. 7 — NO. 2

Inside

Perimeter Business

State your case City seeks public input on parks COMMUNITY 3

New trial? Neuman case back in court PUBLIC SAFETY 21

PAGES 7-11

A tree group grows in Brookhaven BY ANN MARIE QUILL

annmariequill@reporternewspapers.net

Sally Eppstein, left, and Tom Reilly, part of a consortium of neighbors, gathered at her home for a discussion concerning the city’s tree ordinance on Jan. 16. The group then looked at a tract being developed at Wright Avenue and Roxboro Road.

Cowart Family YMCA called ‘a gem for our community’ BY ANN MARIE QUILL

annmariequill@reporternewspapers.net

When The Cowart Family/Ashford Dunwoody YMCA unveiled its new $4.8 million renovation recently, members were more than a little bit impressed. “It’s fabulous. It’s state of the art. I feel like I’m at a resort,” said Brookhaven resident Mary Frances Richardson, who’s been a member of the Y since the 1980s. “I tell you, it’s exciting,” her friend, Dunwoody resident Jack Bell, said during the Jan. 15 reception to showcase the

Y’s new facilities. A new and expanded wellness center was added to the facility, located at 3692 Ashford Dunwoody Road near the Dunwoody city line, in addition to two new group exercise studios, family dressing areas, a new lobby and entrance, and an elevator. The renovation began in March. “We are thrilled with the investment in this Y,” wellness director Amie McSEE A GEM, PAGE 20

PHIL MOSIER

Sally Eppstein wants to save her city’s old growth trees. The Brookhaven resident says she’s dismayed at the number of trees that have come down near her neighborhood to make way for a single-family home development. “We moved to this neighborhood [13 years ago] because we loved the trees,” Eppstein said. But when she recently saw trees coming down along North Druid Hills Road near Roxboro and Goodwin roads, she became alarmed. “I saw them tearing down the houses, but when they ripped down 90 percent of the trees, it floored me,” she said. On a recent Friday morning, she met with a handful of her neighbors at her home to talk about the tree cutting. “I would have liked to have seen them maybe keeping the majority of the tree canopy,” Eppstein said. Tance Sangster lives across the street from Eppstein. “They’ve [protected the canopy in] other cities,” Sangster said. “You’ve seen the renovation of Virginia Highland and Grant Park and Inman Park and Decatur, and they’ve left the character of the cities. It’s the whole character of Brookhaven [that’s in trouble].” Eppstein said she was alarmed that city officials called the property, before the trees came down, an “eyesore” that will turn into a gateway for Brookhaven. “This is the eyesore,” she said. “The new development is an ugly gateway compared to the beautiful canopy of trees.” Kay Evanovich, the city’s arborist, said developers at the North Druid Hills Road site are complying with the city’s tree ordinance. “Yes, I understand people are not happy,” she said. “They have an extensive plant-back SEE A TREE, PAGE 4

From left, Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, Linda Cowart, Cowart Family Y Board Chairman Jim Redovian, Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson and Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis attended the facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 15. KAT GODUCO PHOTOGRAPHY

01-23-2015 Brookhaven Reporter