On Tuesday, Berea City Councilman Tom Schultz revealed that discussions are still underway regarding a proposed dog park near Harrison Road and Harrison Court.Here are some quick facts about the project:
Schultz described the park as a three-phase project, which is said to feature a dog park, pavilion, playground, soccer field (or other multi-use field) and restrooms. Residents near Harrison Road and Harrison Court have expressed opposition to the project.
The proposed building site is located at what is now a decommissioned sewer facility, next to the Berea Country Club.
The city has shared-use paths running along the property, stretching from Harrison Road to Short Line Pike. Berea City Administrator Randy Stone noted developing that property would be very difficult, since the soil beneath the decommissioned plant is strewn with sewer pipes and other infrastructure.
During a public hearing, one resident suggested the cost of such a facility would exceed $400,000. However, city officials say the actual cost has yet to be determined.
Neighborhood residents questioned the need for a dog park, stating people let their dogs run free along the shared use path. Some council members tout the park as a way to help remedy that problem.
To gain entry to the proposed dog park, pet owners would be required to provide proof that their animals’ vaccinations are current, and that the animals are spayed or neutered.
Residents questioned how the city would enforce those requirements since many pet owners don’t observe the leash law currently in effect. Councilman Billy Wooten responded: “If we can’t find an enforcement mechanism, we won’t build a park.”
Robert “P-Nut” Johnson, speaking on behalf of the Berea Country Club, said golf balls from the course’s 4th tee are often hit onto the property where the proposed dog park site would be located. Johnson suggested the city would have to erect a tall, long mesh fence to avoid the risk of having people or animals injured by stray golf balls.
Local residents expressed interest in purchasing the property to avoid having a dog park in their neighborhood.
Schultz stated a dog waste ordinance will be explored and drafted for council review.