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Dog park "Site C" under consideration

Danielle Ryan

(8/5) The potential dog park in town was further discussed during the August 1 Town Council meeting. At the meeting in July, a motion to use proposed Site B failed. The Council had promised to look at the project again at the August meeting, with proper advertising to the community.

Community members attended the meeting in August to voice their concerns with the proposed sites. Prior to hearing public comments, town staff presented a slide show presentation depicting design ideas for the dog park. Drinking fountains for the dogs, benches, gravel walkways, trees, and signage were all considered in the plan for the dog park. Pictures taken from dog parks in Biglerville and Gettysburg were shown, allowing residents to have a better picture of what features are included in most dog parks.

Site A, located off of Cedar Avenue, behind Southgate community, was recommended by town staff as the best possible location discussed. The location met most of the criteria including ease of parking, ease of access, ease of maintenance, safety and proximity to the water line. Site B failed to meet some of these criteria, and was thereby passed over.

Several members of the community were present and voiced their concerns with the proposed Site A. Among those present, were a few members of the Southgate residential area, including the President of the Southgate Homeowners Association. Residents living in this area protested the idea of placing a dog park so closely to their development, as they voiced concern for the safety of the children in the development who regularly play outside, the noise level suspected to be associated with a dog park, potential increase in lingering people so close to homes and proximity to the grade school.

However, not all community members were opposed. One resident spoke in favor of the dog park, noting the many benefits for both humans and dogs involved in having a dog park available for the community. She also mentioned that local businesses could be supported if an attraction such as a dog park were present in town. One recommendation voiced was the presence and adherence of hours in the dog park. President O’Donnell agreed that the presence of a given set of hours available for "operation" or visitation to the dog park would be an excellent idea. O’Donnell also mentioned that the dog park would add value to the town, enhancing the value to the community. Many residents living in town along Main Street may have dogs as companions, but do not have any outdoor area for their pets to run and play. The presence of a dog park would allow those residents to have that amenity for their pets.

Vice President Sweeny proposed another location by Scott Road Farm. This location would be far from residents and offer plenty of space and proximity to an already existing well, which would provide water for the dog park. A gravel parking lot could be constructed there to accommodate those who drive to the location, as the walk from town would be much further than Site A. Town Staff told the Council that this location would be looked into further, as an easement for use of a dog park would be needed. Community members present at the meeting didn’t seem opposed to the location of Site C, as it would be far enough from the residential area.

The Council nixed Site A and Site B, as neither location was deemed appropriate after the discussion and public comment. Further information on Site C may follow at a later time.

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