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.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony welcomes athletes from across Canada

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Body found after apparent house explosion in Calgary, police investigating

Sgt. Dwayne Lepchuk declined to say whose remains were found

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

Most Read