Locations narrowed for city dog park
October 4, 2010
By Tim Pfarr
Lake Boren, future sports park are two remaining choices
The Newcastle Parks Commission has cut the Madison Lane and Lake Boren Esplanade from its list of possible off-leash dog park locations, leaving only Lake Boren Park and the future sports park to be located on Southeast 95th Way and Lake Boren Park as potential locations.
Through consensus, the commission decided the sports park would be the preferred location for the park.
Next, Parks Program Manager Michael Holly said he will plan a mock-up dog park in each location to determine an approximate cost. The Parks Commission’s next meeting will be Oct. 13, and Renton Recreation Manager Kris Stimpson may be on hand to answer questions.
At its Sept. 15 meeting, parks commissioners Christopher Hills and Diane Lewis said they preferred the sports park for a potential dog park, because the park’s master plan calls for an off-leash dog park.
Commission Suzi O’Byrne added that the Lake Boren Park location gets soggy in the winter and may have environmental limitations associated with dog urine being close the lake. Commissioner Tony Peacock agreed that the sports park seemed to be more logical.
The only commissioner present who supported the Lake Boren Park location was Vice Chair Koleen Morris, who said the sports park would be too far out of the way and lacked adequate facilities to host a dog park. She said she preferred Lake Boren Park because of its central location and existing facilities.
Chair Andrew Shelton and commissioners Peggy Price and Craig Belcher were not present.
Allen Dauterman, member of the Newcastle-based group Friends Embracing the Canine Heart, said members of F.E.T.C.H. are willing to help with construction of a dog park, but they would not be as willing to do so if the dog park is built at the sports park.
F.E.T.C.H. rejected every location in the city except Lake Boren Park as potential locations for an off-leash dog park, favoring the park’s central location.
Gordon Bisset, president of the Hazelwood Community Association, testified that his association’s board unanimously voted to oppose fencing off any portion of Lake Boren Park. He said his association prefers a dog park located in the sports park, only if funding is available.
The Parks Commission will hold a public hearing regarding a dog park before making its recommendation to the City Council, which Holly said will likely be in November.
After the commission’s recommendation, the council may choose to move forward building a park, Holly said. The chosen location would then be subject to a State Environmental Policy Act checklist, which examines the impacts a given development would have on things such as noise, air, water, land and traffic.
The Lake Boren Park master plan, which details the city’s vision for the park, calls for the north end of the park to remain “naturally quiet and peaceful.”
“The value of the north grove to park users is as a place of quietude away from the more active areas in the rest of the park,” the plan states.
It also states that the shallow soil in the area can easily be damaged by heavy impacts of summer events, such as car shows or truck deliveries to the performance stage for Newcastle Days and Concerts in the Park.
Holly said the fact that a dog park is not included in the master plan does not mean it cannot be built.
“It’s open for discussion, definitely,” he said, adding that a given addition to the park can be considered without changing the master plan, unless the master plan specifically speaks against that addition.