Should the City of Sandpoint consider revising its policy about dogs in parks, trails and open space areas and add additional dog friendly areas?
What is the survey about?
The City of Sandpoint will be finalizing its Parks and Recreation Master Plan during the month of July, 2020. Throughout the planning process, a common discussion point brought up by members of the public is the issue of dogs in City-owned parks, open spaces and trails. In addition, a dog park has been proposed in the past behind War Memorial Field and it is also envisioned in the site plan for War Memorial Field presented during this master planning process.
Where are dogs currently allowed?
In accordance with Ordinance 1260, passed December 21, 2011, no dogs are allowed (whether leashed or unleashed) on any public beach or public park within the City of Sandpoint with the following exceptions
- Lakeview Park - permitted on leash only and excluded from the children's playground area, within the fenced tennis courts basketball court and War Memorial Field.
- Hickory Park - permitted on leash only and excluded from the children's playground area, basketball court and skate park; and
- Humbird Mill Park/Ponderay Bay Trail - permitted with leashes recommended (Ordinance 1292, 12/18/2013)
Is a change needed?
The Sandpoint City Council, Mayor and city staff have heard many requests for changes to the City's current policy in order to provide additional dog friendly areas for dogs and their owners to spend quality time together and to facilitate opportunities for socialization and exercise in our public spaces. These requests have included: (1) allow dogs on leash at City Beach to help deter geese and minimize their impact; (2) create fenced-in dog parks at one or more parks; and (3) allow dogs at parks during the off-season, i.e. September - April to provide opportunities for City residents to exercise their dogs during the winter months when trails and open spaces are often inaccessible.
We are asking your help to inform a "dog friendly areas" strategy which will provide a strategic direction to adequately plan for the pontential future provision of additional dog friendly areas and policies within the City.
What is a dog friendly area?
The term ‘dog friendly area’ refers to dog on leash areas, dog off leash areas and dog agility parks. Dog agility parks are off leash areas that are fenced.
A Growing Canine Culture in Sandpoint
People (both residents and visitors) have created a canine culture in Sandpoint. Dogs and their owners are frequently seen in park areas where they are allowed, enjoying the many open spaces surrounding our city, on boats, and in increasing numbers on the Ponderay Bay and Mickinnick Trails. In addition, many of the businesses in our downtown put out water bowls and allow dogs within their establishments or outdoor space. The monthly "Yappy Hour" has become an increasingly popular event.
Why is a dog friendly spaces strategy a good idea?
A strategy will help to:
- provide a deliberate and well planned direction for these spaces
- assist in future funding opportunities that may arise
- respond to the needs of the City
- consider the overall open spaces in the City
Will more spaces be made available as a result of this survey?
This community engagement opportunity is one of the many forms of feedback we will use to develop a strategy for the future provision and management of dog friendly spaces. Further investigation and planning will be required to identify any additional future dog friendly spaces.
Thank you for your participation.
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