Proposed downtown dog park plan shelved

  • Dec. 10, 2014 4:12 p.m.

The proposed off-leash dog park which was set to be located in the City’s downtown has been put on hold.

City staff have concluded that there is no perfect site in the downtown area for such a development. City staff also noted there isn’t a high enough density of dogs in the downtown area to warrant the park at this time.

Trevor Poth, the City’s parks superintendent, said the two existing dog parks – Three Mile Bend and The Oxbows – are very popular in the City and adding a third off-leash dog park would prove to be successful as well.

“We are of the philosophy if we build it, they will come,” he said. “The way we do that is by having large sites with extensive trails and very unique features.”

He added in recent years residents have requested a different type of dog park than what is currently available in the City.

“These parks are referred to as urban dog parks. These parks are really focused on a high concentration use – high volumes of people with high levels of human and dog interaction, in a very condensed footprint. These often take place on rooftops and they often take place on streets.

“The important thing to know is because of the very intense use, they require a specific design and construction.”

A downtown off-leash dog park has been in the works for sometime. In 2013 through the capital budget process, council adopted the design and construction of the dog park in the downtown. That same year, City staff reviewed potential sites in the downtown area. A community engagement campaign was also launched.

Potential sites that have been identified that would be suitable for a new off-leash dog park in the downtown include the detention pond, north of the RCMP station (4606 51st Ave.), the Arlington parking lot (5022 49th St.), Barrett Park, southeast of the Kinex Arena (4701 39th St.) and the old Boy Scouts’ Hall (5321 47th Ave.)

“The sites were selected based on availability and City ownership, but also we looked at proximity to existing users as well as opportunities for development and servicing.”

Poth added the City also held focus groups with potential users, downtown business owners, vet clinics and the SPCA, among others, to help get feedback for the project.

“The groups came back and said they were looking for a very high standard of amenities, a focus on user experience, a real focus on site cleanliness because of the reduced footprint and a look at the safety of the site especially for pets,” he said.

“Some of the concerns that came up were definitely associated with the potential of odour, noise, environmental issues and land use challenges for adjacent property owners.”

Poth said there are a number of opportunities for a project like this and there is a high level of community support for the project, but at this time the dog density in the downtown doesn’t necessarily warrant a dog park at this time.

“There was also a low level of public support from some of the residents in some of the downtown residential areas to have an adjacent off-leash facility near their homes. There is no current site that we have identified that we would call the perfect site.”

City council voted in favour of using a community development approach to identify and develop neighbourhood dog off-leash areas as funding becomes available approved through the 10-year capital plan. The remaining approved capital funding for the downtown dog off-leash area will be returned to the original funding source.

Just Posted

Two-vehicle collision involved stolen vehicle in Red Deer

One driver transported to hospital, one arrested

WATCH: Food Truck Fridays are back in full swing

Red Deerians enjoy a variety of different foods

RDC introduces Justice Studies diploma to fill community gap

Forty students will begin studies in Fall 2018

Seventh annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ set for June 7th

Red Deer fundraising event to take place at The Outreach Centre

WATCH: Alix holds 2nd annual Icebreaker Roughstock

Many come out to see some intense rodeo action

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Alberta Party names candidate for upcoming byelection

The Alberta Party made the announcement May 24 at the lighthouse in Sylvan Lake

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Most Read