Off-leash dog parks project postponed

The 2023 project is expected to consist of one park area.

The city has received positive community feedback about the off-leash dog parks project.

City administration was directed to gather public feedback on dog park options and presented the results to council during the July 19 council meeting.

Residents were asked if they would still use an area that was restricted to small dogs, if they would most likely drive or walk to the park, what time they would typically go to the off-leash area, and how they feel about logs and boulders throughout the park.

Nearly 70 per cent of survey respondents wouldn’t use the off-leash area if it was restricted to small dogs only, 53 per cent would walk and drive to the park, and 57 per cent would use the park anytime throughout the day.

“The public engagement feedback has been consolidated, and RFP vendor responses have been reviewed,” open space planning and projects community operations coordinator Carly Davies said.

City administration presented three off-leash options to council.

The first location is along Paradise Road and would be accessible to all dogs that comply with existing off-leash bylaws, a parking lot would be gravel and accessible for park users, and there would be an opportunity for park naming and donation acceptance.

The second off-leash area is located near Rainbow Falls Grove and would be accessible to all dogs, and have street parking, while the third location is along Rainbow Road, and would only be accessible to small dogs.

“Currently, there has been a request to name the park along with a donation. The process will likely be accepted quickly through the naming policy as soon as we have an asset to name the process can start,” Davies said.

The off-leash dog park project was estimated to cost $195,000.

“Removing locations would reduce cost. Based on the initial review of the comments and the budget provided, the 2023 project would likely consist of one park,” Davies said. “The best-received location appears to be number three along Rainbow Road and the fenced area could increase further to the east.”

City administration suggested rescheduling the project into 2023, to allow vendors more time to review and prepare proposals and increase the budget.

Going forward, the city will schedule an open house in the fall to review dog parks and inquire about services needed to complete the project.

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