The Parks, Recreation and Community (PRC) Commissioners decided to look for locations to put a future second dog park at their March 10, 2010 meeting.
At the March meeting, City of Turlock Municipal Services Director Dan Madden presented four possible locations for a future dog park in Turlock: Summerfaire Park, Walnut + Duquesne Storm Basin, Hawkeye + Quincy Storm Basin, and the north east Turlock storm basin called the “Green Belt.”
The PRC Commission held public forums for each one of these locations during the 2007 process of picking a location for the first dog park, now located at Sunnyview Park.
There were only two people in attendance at the meeting including David Fransen who requested the PRC Commission consider more westward locations that can handle destination traffic such as Summerfaire Park (Hawkeye + Soderquist) and Centennial Park (Tuolumne + Countryside).
At the March 10, 2010 PRC Meeting, commissioners suggested previous opposition to the Quincy and neartheast storm basin locations had now even turned into potential support as residents around the most contested location in the past (Hawkeye + Quincy Storm Basin) have now been said to be wanting a dog park in their neighborhood storm basin.
The PRC Commission furthermore went on to narrow the list of future locations to be considered by taking off the 2007 second choice of Summerfaire Park and the very first contested 2007 location of Walnut + Duquesne Storm Basin.
City Staff sent out notices to people 1,000 feet from the potential dog park locations of a public hearing discussing a future Off Leash Dog Park at Hawkeye/Quincy Storm Basin or Northeast Masterplan Storm Basin that would be held at the April 14, 2010 Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community (PRC) Commission Meeting at City Hall.
On April 14th, a crowd of people packed the room for PRC Commission Meeting, while most of the approximate 30 people who spoke up were in opposition to one or both of the eastside locations that were on the agenda to be discussed.
Ram Saini started the public hearing off by saying “The majority of the people rejected these things, I don’t know why these things come up again and again unless someone has some personal interest in it.”
Attorney Michael Warda spoke on behalf of a home builder that owns multiple lots without houses on them yet and some home owners in the neighborhood. Warda stated that without scientific proof, he believes dog parks are good but the problems with both of these locations are that they are not parks but rather storm basins without parking or roads to accommodate the destination traffic.
General opposition from many speakers included parking and traffic concerns while also questioning the city’s finances to build and maintain another dog park.
The northeast storm basin near Taylor Road had more concern with destination traffic going through their neighborhood on roads that were not really planned for the destination traffic while also noting that the only parking would be in front of people’s houses.
The Quincy + Hawkeye storm basin had more concern with the fact that it would use an already deteriorating city shared fence bordering multiple people’s backyards. The smaller size would also mean that the dog park would replace the current play area for the children in the neighborhood.
“I’d like to know who is going to tell the kids in the area, dogs are going to be a priority over you,” said Charlotte Rees. Rees also spoke opposing the Quincy + Hawkeye location two years ago for the same reasons including the small size, noise, lack of parking, and maintenance concerns.
Children even went to the podium to stick up for keeping their play areas. One Quincy + Hawkeye child submitted a petition with many signatures against a dog park being built in their play area.
There were a few neighbors that supported the locations, while a few others supported a dog park in general but just not at the two eastside locations presented.
Former PRC Commissioner and Quincy + Hawkeye neighborhood resident Gabi Kinsella spoke in favor of the location near her home and dog parks in general.
“Clearly everybody here is opposed to the dog park; it seems a little short sighted to me,” said Walter Berg, who lives by the Taylor Road storm basin. “It’s almost one of those things where it’s a good idea, just not in my neighborhood.”
David Fransen pointed out that it seemed clear that both the Quincy/Hawkeye and Taylor storm basins were heavily opposed and requested the PRC Commission consider the 2007 proposed Summerfaire Park and Centennial Park, both of which could handle the traffic and have the space.
Former Turlock Mayor Brad Bates spoke advocating dog parks and the social aspect of them. Bates believes that that the return on investment with dog parks is good, both in community sense and financial.
Bates went on further to suggest having many dog parks, big and small, and that it isn’t a stretch to think that putting a dog park off the freeway at Centennial Park could actually be a revenue enhancer as people could stop off, get gas, food, and let their dogs out for a run.
PRC Commissioner Barney Gordon stated that additional dog parks would be great, that the city should continue looking at other locations, and that they should look into the other locations that were brought up. Gordon also requested any other suggestions for future dog park locations.
No action was taken regarding any future dog park location.