Monday, November 9, 2009

A Dog Park is Coming

The City of Dover is pleased to announce a neighborhood meeting, Saturday November 14, 2009 at 9 am for the Long Hill Park neighborhood. The meeting will take place at Long Hill Memorial Park, weather permitting.

According to the letter sent to residents in the neighborhood, Director of Planning Christopher Parker and Recreation Director Gary Bannon are organizing this meeting to discuss the creation of a dog park at Long Hill Memorial Park. This discussion stems from the recently completed Recreation Master Plan. Based upon recommendations contained within the Plan, the City is looking to establish a dog park within Long Hill Memorial Park.

The Master Plan sites Long Hill Memorial Park as a community based park, open to more than its surrounding neighborhood. The plan also points to survey data and interviews conducted by citizen committee which oversaw the development of the plan to support the need for a dog park.

Residents and the public are invited to attend the meeting at the park on Saturday November 14, 2009 at 9 am. The goal of the meeting is to begin a dialog regarding the creations of the park within the existing park. Planning Director Christopher Parker confirmed that the amenity will be created within the existing confines of Long Hill Memorial Park, “we have identified an area adjacent to the basketball court that is ideal for the dog park. This area is away from residential abutters, is partially wooded and is easily accessible for the public.”

According to Recreation Director Gary Bannon variety is important to the project. “We didn’t just want to fence in an open area, we want to create a fun environment for dogs and their owners. We will have a wooded area, as well as an open area. There will be shade for users. Also we are looking at having a separate area for smaller dogs.” There is a water service line on the property as well, so water will be available to dogs.

The dog park will add to the existing park, which includes a basketball court, playground, two tennis courts, and a large multi-purpose field. Recently, the City Council passed an ordinance banning dogs from athletic fields, and play areas, so staff felt that an alternative was needed to be provided. “Looking at the data in the appendix to the Master Plan, and based upon residents who have asked about it, it appears we have a need for a dog park in Dover,” stated Director Parker. Both Parker and Bannon noted that Portsmouth and Rochester have dog parks.

The park will be constructed using fees paid by developers who have created projects in the nearby area. These projects contributed funds to be used to enhance Long Hill Memorial Park. Additionally, volunteers have approached the City about providing services, such as clearing brush and ground cover to lessen the cost to construct the park.

Should the weather not cooperate, an indoor site to relocate will be made available, and signs will be posted at the park directing participants to it. The Planning Director stressed that this meeting is open to all, and encourages all to attend this meeting. Long Hill Memorial Park is located on Long Hill Road, behind Middleton Building Supply.

For more information regarding the Long Hill Memorial Park Neighborhood meeting please contact the City of Dover Planning Department at 516-6008.

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