Residents weigh in on dog park

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Three options considered at open house

St. Albert residents took the lead on three options presented for the off-leash dog park on Levasseur Road.

The city invited community members to view three potential dog park designs at Sir George Simpson School Wednesday night. The dog park will be situated on Lavasseur Road, between Hudson Road and 170th Street, making it the first official off-leash park in the city.

Visitors were encouraged to leave comments for a draft report for council.

Although each park is different, the three submissions showed 20 parking spots, benches and garbage bins for owners. Screen planting on the south side of the lot would provide a visual buffer for the homeowners on the other side.

John Younie, manager of major projects and parks planning, said the largest difference between the three designs is how the park will be enclosed. One drawing showed a chain-link fence, a second displayed a wooden rail and post enclosure while the third used natural greenery to keep dogs in, including plants with sharp thorns to discourage them from running away.

The three designs range in cost from $140,000 for option 1, $150,000 for option 3 and $190,000 for option 2.

Council approved $140,000 in the 2010 budget. Another $100,000 is in the 2011 budget to add off-leash features to Lacombe Lake Park.

“Generally, people have been very supportive of all three concepts,” said Younie. “We may not be able to do an option that will make everyone happy, unfortunately,”

Geri Salmon, who lives in the Heritage Lakes area and owns a mini-schnauzer, said the chain-link fence was the only enclosure option that made sense to her, and believes it is the only one the city should use.

“I go to Lacombe Park and they have the wood and post and the dogs can get under that,” she said. “You don’t want a little dog to get hit or cause an accident.”

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