Brookhaven, GA, May 28, 2015 – The Post – Local resident Marianna Yates provides the following “Letter to the Editor”.
From Marianna: The annual Dekalb Peachtree Airport (PDK) Good Neighbor Day is fast approaching.
There is a grassroots movement to preserve the approximately 30 acres on Clairmont Road across from PDK. This property was included under airport management, with part of it as a runway protection zone (RPZ). It consists of primarily old growth forest, a meadow, wetlands, and streams that eventually join tributaries to the North Fork Peachtree Creek.
Residents have used this property for more than 60 years for recreation. Children play in the woods and creeks, neighbors walk trails, do birdwatching, have picnics, played games and put in gardens.
Henry “Doc” Manget was the first airport director when PDK became a civil airport in 1959. Neighbors approached him in the concerning the use of the property. He gave his approval for all these uses provided no permanent construction was done.
In the 1990’s, then airport manager, Carl “Lee” Remmel, provided assistance for a neighborhood clean-up day for the property. This included providing both equipment and personnel as the neighbors who hauled out any trash.
As this shows, the airport had a long history of working with the neighborhood to maintain the quality of life for residents – until the east-west runway closed. This opened up the possibility of selling the land for development. By the way, the money from the sale would go to the airport – not the county.
The neighborhood has been working to have the area designated as greenspace to stop any development possibility. Ironically, the airport response was to post “No Trespassing” signs – just in time for Good Neighbor Day.
Perhaps they have a strategy that keeping people out will slowly take it out of the minds of the residents. Regardless, the land is too important to Dekalb residents for recreation, noise abatement, flood control, and just a place for quiet time in the frantic pace of life we now have. Don’t let it slip away.