OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS DRAFT CRITERIA DRAFT LOCATION OPTIONS

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1 Town of Happy Valley Goose Bay OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS DRAFT CRITERIA DRAFT LOCATION OPTIONS (May, 2014) P a g e 1

2 OVERVIEW An off-leash dog park is a dedicated, fenced park providing pet owners with the opportunity to exercise and socialize their dogs in a controlled area. There are a number of benefits to offleash dog parks including; Safe place for dogs to play together in a positive park environment, A well exercised dog is a happier, socialized dog and less likely to be a nuisance, An opportunity for dog owners to converse and enjoy some recreation, Reduction of illegal off-leash issues and dogs running at large. It is important to determine criteria for off-leash parks. The careful choice of a location along with regulations and maintenance will ensure an off-leash dog parks is community friendly with minimal impacts for neighbours and residents. GOALS The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is considering criteria and some options for the location of an off leash dog park. The goals in developing these draft criteria are; To evaluate the public support for the Town to establish a dog park, To support the evaluation of potential locations and park operations in consideration of the needs of dog owners, neighbours, and the larger community, To determine requirements for the general establishment and operation of an off leash dog park, and, To provide rules for the use of an off leash dog park by dog owners, P a g e 2

3 PROCESS A set of draft criteria has been established along with some location options. The draft criteria were developed based upon research of municipalities that have a significant history of dog parks in their community. That research revealed some common ideas and requirements in the establishment and operation of off leash dog parks. Some location options have been identified and are shown on a location map. The Town is looking for public feedback to these draft ideas. Please provide your comments on or before Friday May 30, There is a quick and easy on-line survey at; Your comments can also be ed to; or, mailed; Director, Community Services and Recreation, PO Box 40, Stn B, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, A0P 1E0, or, dropped off; Town office, ATTN; Director, Community Services and Recreation, 212 Hamilton River Road, Happy Valley-Goose Bay. For more information contact: Shaun MacLean, Director of Community Services and Recreation, at Develop Draft Criteria, and Location Options We are here! Community Feedback to Draft (Multiple opportunities incl. On-line survey, Open House) Evaluate Feedback Review Criteria and Location Options P a g e 3 Council considers public input and decides on final criteria and preferred locations. Council reviews the information and decides next steps

4 KEY CRITERIA FOR OFF LEASH DOG PARKS (DRAFT, May 2014) The draft criteria were established by looking at the experience of other communities in the development of off-leash parks. There are some common ideas for key criteria; Size 2.0 to 5 acres is preferred. A well designed 1.5 acre park can be considered. (For reference note that 2 acres is about 300 feet by 300 feet.) Proximity Careful consideration of distance from residences (Rules vary in municipalities from 30 to 120 metres) Fencing Main gate and parking located for minimal impact on residences Careful consideration of proximity to schools and playgrounds (Rules vary in municipalities). Setback 15 metres from environmentally sensitive areas such as streams, and ponds. Fencing at least 1.2 metres high and the entire off-leash area should be fenced Double gated entry provides a safe place for people to leash or unleash their dogs before leaving and entering the park. Parking Ensure adequate off-street parking sensitively located in consideration of neighbours. Consider the personal safety of parks users through location, lighting, etc. Organization The dog park must have an organized dog owners group associated with it that will take some responsibility for maintenance, friendly policing, helping to solve problems, and cost share for park amenities and development. The dog owners group should be self organized and operated (with some initial support and direction from the Town). The group should be in place prior to development of the park. A minimum membership of at least 10 is encouraged so that a broad spectrum of dog owners is represented, and there is a wide base of active participation. It may be required for the dog owners group to fundraise prior to development of the dog park in order to partially contribute to the amenities needed for a dog park. This would help defray the costs to the overall community for dog related recreation. It is important that people interested in a dog park actively participate in operations and development. P a g e 4

5 Amenities Low cost options will be favoured over high cost alternatives The off-leash dog park must initially have; o Dog waste disposal (bags and bag dispensers) o Waste receptacles o Posted signage of Rules and Regulations o Durable, well drained and dust free surface at the entrance (high traffic area) o Access for maintenance The development of the off leash dog park in the future should consider the following (in conjunction with fundraising by the Dog Park Group); o Drinking water source for the dogs o Separate fenced off area for small and old dogs o Benches o Tables and picnic tables o Paths for walking o Landscaping and trees (shade) Regulations Rules and Regulations must be clearly posted at all entrances and should include; Hours of operation (9 AM to 9 PM) Emergency phone numbers Park users and dog owners assume all risk and responsibility related to dog park usage Dogs must be on leash at all times unless inside the fenced and gated area All dogs must be registered with the Town and licensed Poop and scoop is required and mandatory of all dog owners Dogs must be under the control and supervision of their owner at all times. No aggressive dogs are allowed. A dog owner must promptly leash and remove their dog if it causes confrontation with other dogs or owners. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted in the off-leash area. Close supervision of all children is required. No bicycles, rollerblades, or skateboards, are allowed P a g e 5