Dog Park Feasibility Study Committee

Purpose
The purpose of the Dog Park Feasibility Study Committee is to explore the opportunity to create one or more dog parks in Concord where residents may exercise their dogs in a secure and friendly environment.


Background

The Town’s “2015 Open Space & Recreation Plan” states in a 2014 citizen survey, “the need for a formal dog park was raised as a community desire and requires further evaluation” (p.91). Part of evaluating the feasibility of creating a dog park is to identify one or more sites where a dog park could be located. The evaluation of public land for a possible future dog park is not intended to influence the discussion of whether it would be appropriate to require dogs to be on-leash in certain Town-owned conservation parcels. That determination will be made by the Natural Resources Commission.


A dog park is a fenced-in area with multiple gated points of entry that allows dogs to roam and play off-leash in a safe manner. Dog owners also are free to socialize while their dogs are playing. This helps new residents establish community connections and is an opportunity for neighbors to stay connected. An area designated for dogs to run off-leash avoids conflicts with other users of public lands such as at playgrounds or public parks.


Membership and Term

The Committee will be comprised of the following members appointed by the Select Board:
Seven (7) citizens at-large from various sections of Concord with diverse backgrounds and at least 2 of which shall be dog owners.


Members shall serve until May 30, 2018 unless the term is amended or extended by the Select Board.


Duties and Responsibilities

1. To consider whether there is interest in and a need for a dog park in Concord as a place designated and reserved for use specifically by dogs and dog owners. And if a need exists, to consider whether there is need for more than one dog park for the convenient access and use by all interested residents of the town.


2. To determine key elements that would be desirable in a dog park, including parking, fencing waste removal, a water supply, and other amenities.


3. To consider whether the need exists for a larger area of land designated for use by dogs and dog-owners that may not be fenced in, which would allow for long, off-leash walks in a wooded or natural area that won’t conflict with other users.

4. To review the list of town-owned land for possible use as a dog park and to consider whether there are privately owned parcels which the owners may be interested in allowing to be used for a dog park.


5. To hold a public hearing at the outset of the study process to solicit comments from the community on the need for a dog park, as well as the desired elements and locations.


6. To develop a draft report, including the Committee’s preliminary findings and recommendations to the Select Board concerning dog parks, and to hold a second public hearing at which the draft report is publicly discussed and public comments are solicited.


7. To prepare a final report to the Select Board on or about March 1, 2018 on the Committee’s findings and recommendations upon reflecting on comments received at the public hearing or otherwise concerning the draft report.


8. The Committee may request that this committee charge be amended to add additional duties, and the Select Board will give the request due consideration.


Other Considerations
The Committee will conduct business in compliance with all relevant State and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and Conflict of Interest Law. The Committee shall consult with the Town Manager concerning the allocation of town staff or financial resources toward this project.

Minutes and Agendas

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