City council gives green light to dog park

February 4, 2011

Funding to be discussed this summer during budgeting process

The City Council voted 6-1 at its Feb. 1 meeting to move forward with building a dog park at the future sports park site on Southeast 95th Way.

The city will add the park to its capital projects and discuss funding when it begins work on the 2012 budget this summer.

The Parks Commission recommended to the council at its Jan. 12 meeting that an off-leash dog park be built at the future sports park site. It also noted that the council’s recommended budget of $25,000 would not be enough to build and maintain an off-leash park.

A park constructed at the future sports park site would likely be one or two acres, temporary and atop the grassy mound at the center of the site. It would need to be moved when construction begins on the sports park. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016.

The future sports park’s design calls for a one-third-acre, off-leash dog park on the east end of the property.

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Rapid Response

February 4, 2011

What do you think of the Parks Commission’s recommendation to build a dog park at the site of the future sports park on Southeast 95th Way?

Can we just build it somewhere — anywhere — and move on to other things, like safe sidewalks on all major roads around Newcastle?

— Trina Sooy, Newcastle

I’m still waiting for the library and athletic fields Sonny Putter and the rest of the City Council promised 10 years ago when I first moved into the community. Nothing against dogs or dog owners, but I am curious how the city of Newcastle manages its priorities. If the Parks Commission has recommended a dog park as a priority over a park kids can use, I’d recommend they become outwardly mobile.

— Troy Anderson, Newcastle

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Letter to the editor:

February 4, 2011

Thank you to all who helped F.E.T.C.H. make a local dog park a reality

Lake Boren Park is centered in our community, our commons for community and recreational activities, a central hub linking our trails system to our community. A popular destination for many that walk our trails with dogs, Lake Boren Park has seen supervised dogs run off leash for decades. With off-leash activity growing, it has become evident that Newcastle should consider designating a central off-leash area. With the history and growing demand at this central location, an off-leash area at Lake Boren Park appears most logical.

Recently, the Parks Commission chose to restrict an off-leash area to the future sports park, ignoring the needs of many residents with a message to stop using trails and drive to a remote location completely disconnected from our trail system. A message that Newcastle families with children and dogs who wish to spend an afternoon in the park with their dog off leash must to go to a barren and isolated location without playground equipment, and fails to meet recreational needs for families with children. The choice is a retreat from the challenge to find a quality solution designed to enhance Lake Boren Park.

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Parks Commissions recommends dog park at sports park site

January 18, 2011

$25,000 ruled not enough to create, maintain potential park

NEW — 5 p.m. Jan. 18, 2011

After holding two public hearings, the Parks Commission unanimously passed a recommendation to the City Council Jan. 12  that an off-leash dog park be constructed at the site of the future sports park on Southeast 95th Way.

However, the commission also unanimously voted that the council’s recommended budget of $25,000 would not be enough to construct and maintain a dog park, given that it would only be enough to build a one-acre park and maintain it for one year.

City Manager Rob Wyman said the City Council will likely review the commission’s recommendation at its Feb. 1 meeting.

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Parks Commission to host second off-leash dog park public hearing

January 7, 2011

The Parks Commission will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at council chambers, 1320 Newcastle Way, to gather more input regarding a potential off-leash dog park in the city.

The commission held a public hearing Dec. 8.

After the next hearing, the commission may choose to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding a potential off-leash dog park in the city.

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Current park locations cannot host dog park

January 7, 2011

The Parks Commission should either find a suitable location for an off-leash dog park in the city or recommend to the City Council that no park be built in Newcastle at all.

The two locations still being considered — the southwest corner of Lake Boren Park and the future sports park to be off Southeast 95th Way — present issues significant enough to warrant disqualification as potential sites.

Olympus residents have expressed concern about the Lake Boren Park location. Some live a matter of yards away from the proposed dog park site, and have objected to side effects of what a dog park could bring, including noise and sanitation issues. These residents are concerned a park could aversely affect the value of their homes, and they might be right.

Many dog owners who would use an off-leash park — including those from the Newcastle organization Friends Embracing the Canine Heart — have rejected placing a dog park at the site of the future sports park, citing concerns with the site’s remoteness and its location near the city’s south limits. Thus, the city is likely to get little or no private financial assistance in constructing or maintaining a park here.

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Letters to the editor

December 2, 2010

Thanks to everyone who made Newcastle Days a success

Hats off to the Newcastle City Council and myriad other volunteers who made this year’s Newcastle Days such a great event and resounding success!

The music on Saturday night was world-class, and brought  back such memories. It was wonderful to see so many neighbors and friends enjoying the music and socialization. A special thanks to John and Lisa Jensen, David Harris, Sandra Wixon, and Alan White and his band members for making this truly memorable evening.

Jean Butler


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Parks Commission to hold dog park public hearing, make recommendation

December 2, 2010

The Parks Commission chose primary and secondary locations for a potential off-leash dog park in the city, and will hold a public hearing at its Dec. 8 meeting.

The commission chose the southwest corner of Lake Boren Park as its primary location, and the grassy field atop the mound at the site of the future sports park — to be off Southeast 95th Way — as its secondary location.

Although the commission had previously narrowed potential locations for an off-leash dog park to the north end of Lake Boren Park and the future sports park, the commission began considering alternative locations after a commission subcommittee met in October with representatives from the Newcastle group Friends Embracing the Canine Heart.

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Rapid response for Dec. 3

December 2, 2010

What do you think of the city’s new website design?

It’s very classy! It took me a moment to figure out what the homepage picture is since I don’t always equate Newcastle to the golf course, though.

- Trina Sooy, Newcastle

They have a new website design? Ever since Newcastle 411 died, I’ve really been out of touch with the city.

- Troy Hopwood, Newcastle

Navigation is more functional, and I like the paragraph describing Newcastle on the home page.

- John Jensen, Newcastle

How would you feel if the city were to install an off-leash dog park in the southwest corner of Lake Boren Park where invasive knotweed and blackberry bushes now grow?

Good, I like watching the dogs in an off leash park. They seem to know it’s all about them and all act like puppies.

- John Jensen, Newcastle

I would love an off leash park at Lake Boren. If it replaces invasive plants, then all the better.

- Troy Hopwood, Newcastle

What is the best part about the holiday season in Newcastle?

The Rotary Club Santa at the fruit stand on Dec. 4!

– John Jensen, Newcastle

Definitely buying our tree from the great people at Newcastle Fruit & Produce. Oh, and chocolates and pumpkin spice scones from Sweet Decadence.

– Trina Sooy, Newcastle

F.E.T.C.H., Parks Commission subcommittee to meet Wednesday

October 26, 2010

NEW — 1:30 p.m. Oct. 26, 2010

Members of the Newcastle group Friends Embracing the Canine Heart will meet with a Parks Commission subcommittee at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall conference room. The meeting is open to the public.

At the meeting, the subcommittee will talk with F.E.T.C.H. about its goals and possible contributions to an off-leash dog park in Newcastle. The subcommittee consists of Chair Andrew Shelton, Vice Chair Koleen Morris, Commissioner Craig Belcher and Commission Craig Petersen.

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