Neighbors of Gresham Park's response to DeKalb County's proposed land swap with Blackhall Studios
Neighbors of Gresham Park (NGP) was founded in 2000 as a means to provide a collective voice to the largely underserved and exploited area of South Dekalb known as Gresham Park. At this time NGP believes that this land swap sets a dangerous precedent for many other green spaces across Gresham Park and Greater DeKalb.
Let's be clear, swapping public land for commercial interests should not be the norm or blindly welcomed by residents of DeKalb County. This land swap will directly impact the residents of Gresham Park for decades to come. It does not seem prudent to trade away valuable, publicly owned greenspace to a commercial real estate developer for a fraction of the land’s value.
After speaking with all board members of NGP and listening to the concerns from our members and residents. The NGP board believes there should be significant cause for concern due to the lack of transparency and lack of public input from the residents that reside in Gresham Park.
As of this date, no finalized master plan for the proposed park has been released to the public. Further, no meaningful forum has been created so that the residents of Gresham Park can weigh in on the future of Intrenchment Creek Park as well as the land that Black Hall currently owns.
Time and time again, scripted comments from individuals who do not live in Gresham Park seem to hold more weight than the calls for transparency from those closest in proximity to the proposed swap area. Gresham Park residents should be afforded the opportunity to be involved in the planning process, from start to finish.
At this time, NGP has decided that the community of Gresham Park recognizes no benefit from this land swap because of a lack of input, lack of a committed park plan, and environmental concerns based on the reduced watershed that the proposed plan calls for.
***This statement was drafted by the NGP board and approved by NGP members***