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Posted on: July 12, 2019

Board Considers Impacts of the Dog Exercise Area at Brookville Road Park

Board Considers Impacts of the Dog Exercise Area at Brookville Road Park


Earlier this year, neighbors who live abutting the Dog Exercise Area at Brookville Road Park expressed concerns regarding impacts from use of the Dog Exercise Area (DEA).  Concerns include barking (from single dogs as well as the accumulative effect of dogs barking throughout the day), increased traffic and parking impacts (including access to parking adjacent to residents’ homes as well as dogs relieving themselves on residents’ yards after exiting parked vehicles), aggressive dogs and loud dog fights.  To directly address these concerns, increased signage was installed at the park to reinforce the established rules and Village police have performed daily patrols of the park.  The Village also established a park steward program consisting of Village residents who further reinforce the rules with fellow park users.
 
In response to these concerns, the Board convened an initial Public Hearing in May to hear from residents that abut the park as well as park users regarding the current use and experience. In an effort to acquire additional data, the Village hired a researcher to collect data regarding park use, including parking behaviors.  Data from this effort was reported to the Board at its second Public Hearing in June, at which additional testimony was heard.
 
During its regular meeting in July, the Board held a third hearing at which the researcher reported on the use of controlled access systems at dog parks across the country.  The researcher was not able to identify any jurisdictions that had used access control systems as a means to control dog behavior, specifically barking.  Following this report, the public was again invited to speak.  All in attendance were park users who urged the Board to maintain the DEA.
 
After consideration of various factors including that many residents are out of town for the summer, the Board postponed a decision to disestablish a DEA.  Given this delay and to provide some immediate relief to abutting households, the Board did vote to adopt an Ordinance to modify the DEA hours to 8:00 a.m. to sunset, weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to sunset, weekends and holidays.  The new hours will go into effect on Monday, July 22.
 
The Board acknowledges that a lot of time and careful consideration went into the establishment of the DEA at Brookville Road Park in the hope that embracing the community’s use of the space as an area for unleashed dogs would be a positive for the community.  As the Board has heard from many park users, indeed the space has become a community-gathering location.  Nonetheless, the Board recognizes and appreciates that for the small number of households that directly abut the park, the use of the space has negatively impacted their lives.  A small number of people are, in turn, being asked to bear the burden of this community asset.
 
During its regular meeting on Monday, September 9, the Board will consider action to disestablish the Dog Exercise Area at Brookville Road Park, including the removal of the perimeter fencing that runs parallel with Brookville Road.  The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Please see the enclosed “Notice of Public Hearing & Possible Board Action”.

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