On a shoestring 4-3 vote, the council also expanded the park's hours
during the evening and imposed several new requirements on operators. The
Best Friend Dog Park Foundation will now be required to closely monitor
who uses the site, lock the gate at night and plant more foliage on the
border to mute barking sounds.
The council has now turned an eye toward permanently moving the dog
park to a former gun range in Central Park. The majority of members
agreed that the park should eventually be put at that site, which needs
to be cleaned up, as lead deposits from old shell casings have been found
"We're just going to have to push ahead and get that site cleaned up
as quickly as we can," Mayor Debbie Cook said. "We need the dog people to
be more considerate."
Residents living across the street from the park have complained,
since shortly after the park opened in 1995, that the barking dogs are a
At Monday's council meeting, members of the four families that
objected to the animal noises repeated their refrain to move the park.
"It should be moved," said Maxwell Smith, who lives near the park. "We
feel the dogs barking constantly is intruding on our quality of life."
About two dozen pet owners who use the park also spoke out during the
meeting, saying they enjoyed socializing with other dog owners and
allowing their dogs off their leashes.
Dog owners have maintained that the noise of the cars on Talbert
Avenue far outweighs barking from their pets. A city-funded study lent
credence to their claims, showing that the noise from vehicles was indeed
But council members have been wary of ignoring the wishes of the
"There is a recognition that the dog park is causing a problem with
the barking," Councilwoman Connie Boardman said. "It is reasonable to
look for a place to move it."
During the meeting, Boardman proposed relocating the park to a 16-acre
site across from the Central Library fronting Goldenwest Street.
Yet, the plan died on the vine, when only Council members Peter Green
and Grace Winchell joined Boardman in support of the plan.