Committee of the Whole (July 19, 2021) & Council (July 26, 2021) Discuss Dog Park

At the July 19, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting the Parks & Environmental Services Coordinator provided an overview of the written staff report, outlining a plan and budget options for a fenced dog park in Pond Park Corridor. Based on community feedback, staff outlined park features:

  • a fenced 90m x 25m dog park;
  • a water fountain;
  • four benches;
  • a gazebo;
  • waste receptacles;
  • dog bag dispensers and;
  • natural agility features such as boulders and logs.

Council discussion includes:

  • While other District's are trialling dog parks using temporary locations, the cost of doing so in Sooke is prohibitive. Even a temporary park would require infrastructure modifications, which are costly.
  • Noise issues will be addressed with signage and Bylaw Officer attendance.
  • There are funds available now to execute the project as presented.
  • The park's location will be noted on District maps.
  • Some residents near the proposed location are concerned that the park will invite instances of public drunkenness.
  • If the gazebo and fountain were omitted from the plan, a savings of $20,000 would be realized.
  • Members of the public have been asking for a fenced dog park since 2012.

Motions carried:

  • THAT the Committee of the Whole recommend that Council authorize staff to proceed with the construction of a fenced dog park at 2276 Church Road.
  • THAT the Committee of the Whole recommend that Council allocate up to an additional $45,000.00 to the dog park budget from Council contingency.
  • THAT the Committee of the Whole recommend that Council allocate up to an additional $45,000.00 to the dog park budget from Council contingency.

At the July 26, 2021 Regular Council Meeting, Council continued discussion of the dog park, noting:

  • Assurance that all locations have been evaluated, consultation has been ongoing for several years and the best interest of the community has been considered.
  • It is anticipated that users will continue to self-regulate, in the management of their dogs within the park.
  • Parking issues are a concern, staff will find opportunities to enhance and educate park users on park access.
  • Recognition that neighbours are concerned with the proximity of the location to homes and the potential for increased users.
  • Dog owners in the community have been advocating for a secure location for dogs to socialize and enjoy themselves.

Motion carried:

THAT Council authorize staff to proceed with the construction of a fenced dog park at 2276 Church Road

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