The City of Regina is barking over the idea of creating up to another six off-leash dog parks.
The city is considering a recommendation to create three new fenced off-leash parks. There would be one located in each of the south, east and north/northwest areas of the city, although the report isn’t indicating exactly where they would be. In addition, two or three unfenced parks could be tested in 2017 as part of a pilot.
“It’s probably a good idea just because that way they can have the access for everybody around the city,” said Nathaniel Hubin, who was out on Monday with his Rottweiler/Shepherd mix at the Cathy Lauritsen Memorial Off-Leash Dog Park on 13th Avenue west of Lewvan Drive.
Right now the partially fenced park is Regina’s only year-round off-leash dog park. By comparison, Saskatoon has eight parks and Winnipeg has 11.
There are five seasonal off-leash areas in the Queen City located within boarded outdoor skating rinks.
For a city with a population of 237,800, based on figures from Statistics Canada, some dog owners like Hubin feel like there’s a lot of pressure on the single off-leash park. That was evident he said over this past weekend when the weather broke records.
“It’s pretty intense. I know the dogs loved it, but I know that some of the people were getting kind of worried just because there were so many people and so many dogs and some of the dogs were pretty – not having it I guess you’d say,” he explained.
At the same time, he said it’s nice to have like-minded people gathered together.
“Everybody here likes talking to each other. You really get a sense of community with that.”
The report from administration was based partly on a telephone survey of 600 residents undertaken in June 2015, about two-thirds of whom owned a dog.
The city estimates the costs associated with developing a 2.5-hectare dog park would be roughly $160,000 for things like fencing, parking and safety gates. The municipality would fund 70 per cent of that total while the remaining 30 per cent would be funded by developers through Servicing Agreement Fees. It would cost $3,500 to maintain a park that size on a yearly basis.
On Wednesday, the Planning Commission will discuss the proposal. Council would also have to discuss and vote on the plan towards the end of the month before the parks are approved.