In the meantime, the park at 505 Bing St., on the citys west side, will only be open from Wednesday through Saturday. Hours had already been reduced since the city began looking for a replacement park last year.
The council accepted the recommendation of the citys parks advisory committee, which struck a compromise with neighbors, who want the park shut down now. They say the park, which abuts their backyards, is filled with noisy dogs and their owners, and urine and dog waste. They also say visitors take up their parking.
Ruben Bernal, who lives next to the park, asked for the city to shut it down this month, which was the citys earlier aim. I think you gave us plenty of time to look for something to replace the dog park, he told the council.
Another neighbor, Bob Leverich, agreed. ...Closing of the park would give neighbors some relief and a clear end date I think is reasonable for them ... rather than extending the date indefinitely.
But some dog owners argued that the park shouldnt close until a replacement can be found.
Leah Mueller, who has an 8-month-old golden retriever named Calvin, told the council that fewer dogs are using the park lately.
What I do know is that the dog park is quieter than it is in my neighborhood home, she said.
Rachel Burke said that neighbors are getting more of a voice than dog owners, and that there should be more balance. These people are some of the most enthusiastic city park users youll find in Olympia, she said.
Theres no guarantee the citys parks department will find a replacement location before the dog park closes. The council authorized the parks department to pursue a lease to open a park at one of the following sites, in priority order:
* Church of Living Water property next to U.S. Highway 101. * Westbrook Investments LLC site on Cooper Point Road, known as the Sundberg gravel pit. * McLane Elementary School property off Delphi Road. * The Evergreen State College property off Fireweed Road.
The city is pursuing a site on the west side first, but is also pursuing establishing small dog parks at Priest Point, Kettle View and Governor Stevens Field parks.
Associate park director David Hanna said the city learned several lessons: to find a location for a dog park thats not right next to a residential area, that is centrally located, and that multiple sites are better. He also said a thorough public process is needed. The city will hold a public meeting before signing any lease for a replacement park.
Jesse Wiegel, who was at the dog park Friday with his 2-year-old dog Muesli, had several suggestions: the new dog park should be on the west side, in an neighborhood, not too close to strip mall, and big enough for dogs to run.
He just moved to Olympia and plans to be at the dog park often.
I was here yesterday and I will be tomorrow, I would imagine, he said.
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 email@example.com @MattBatcheldor