The Vashon Park District is considering a proposal from the group Vashon Unleashed to create a dog park at the Burton Area Recreation Complex, and community feedback is requested as the dog park might affect a disc golf course.
Group members were on-hand at the April 10 park district meeting to present their case for a long-awaited fenced dog park and reported they found the lower field at BARC to be the most suitable site. According to a study by Vashon Unleashed, the community under uses the area as a disc golf course.
“Right now, where we are, we’re inviting public participation in discussion — if people are favorable of that location, or if they are not,” said Elaine Ott-Rocheford, executive director of the park district.
The park district leases the area from the school district, which would have to permit the installation of fencing there.
“I have received inquiries about dog parks for as long as I’ve been here,” said Ott-Rocheford. “Certainly it’s a strong passion for dog owners who share these concerns that have been raised by the Vashon Unleashed group.”
She added that the park district was recently approached by a resident whose chickens were killed by dogs let loose at BARC and sees the potential park as meeting a community obligation.
“I would love to provide this for a neighbor who suffered a loss, and I think this would help solve this problem. This could solve a great problem,” said Ott-Rocheford.
But islander Shango Los, while adamant that he is not anti-dog park, believes the lower field at BARC should be preserved for disc golf and has rallied on social media to stop development there.
“Essentially, since it’s such a small space, wherever they put the park, they would take up four to five holes. It would be overly impactful to the disc golf course more than I think people appreciate,” he said. “It would be a trade off for one or the other.”
The park district will hold a discussion about the proposal at its next regular meeting, 7 p.m. next Tuesday in the Ober Park office.
— Paul Rowley