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Memorial Park Dog Rules to Go Before Council

Memorial Park dog issues, and a plan to resolve them, will be on Monday’s City Council meeting agenda.

At Monday's City Council meeting, the Parks and Recreation Commission is set to recommend to the council a dog-related use and maintenance plan for Memorial Park.

The commission worked on the plan with the Dog Ad Hoc Committee since June.

As part of the recommended plan, dogs would be allowed in Section B—the section of the park mainly used by dogs – from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. A “Good Neighbor” sign would also potentially be posted in that section of the park. Dogs would be banned from Section A—the area of the park generally designated for sports—at all times.

Albany police would enforce the hours, "as the officers are the only city personnel with the authority to enforce the city’s municipal codes,” according to city staff reports. Park-goers would be encouraged to self-monitor, but if an unresolvable conflict arose, the police would need to be called.

“This has been an emotional issue that has included the feeling that residents and park users’ quality of life has been or could be negatively impacted,” according to the staff report.

Residents who live near the park have had ongoing problems with dogs at the park including dog barking and fights, damaged fields and a lack of parking in their neighborhood due to “dog park” visitors. Dog owners have defended their use of the park, saying it is a place to exercise and socialize their pets.

Staff has also looked into Section B lawn maintenance and will recommend additional reseeding throughout the year. The field would require closure for about three months a year for the grass to regenerate. Albany fields are typically closed for two months each year for the same reason. The Section B closure would probably happen from November to March, according to staff reports.

The plan's financial impact to the city would be about $2,000 annually, mainly for lawn maintenance, with a one-time $1,000 cost to reconfigure the irrigation system in the park’s Section B, according to the reports.

*See Patch's look into Memorial Park's dog dilemma and more coverage.

Click the "Keep me posted" button below this story for an email update when we write about dog issues in Albany. See the rules for the fenced area at Memorial Park here.

Paul D December 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Bad dog! No park!
Robert Marshall December 03, 2012 at 05:09 PM
"Residents who live near the park..." Primarily resident, as in singular is having a problem and they park themselves next to their phone so they can call the police as the clock strikes (fill in the blank). There should also be a good neighbor sign pointing across the streets to remind people that dog owners ARE allowed in the area. While I applaud the expanded hours, I'm really don't understand the split hours on Saturdays, when dogs were allowed for a full block of 10-6 under current rules.
d December 03, 2012 at 06:10 PM
As a dog owner who both walks and drives to the park, the only time I find that there are parking problems is when there is an event at the park (e..g., a baseball game, party, etc.,) that does not involve dog owners.
D. Mehrten December 03, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Ha ha ha Albany dude. I discovered how true this is (not ALWAYS) during my 31 years as a letter carrier. An attorney once told me she and her neighbors needed to let their dogs run loose to protect their neighborhood. (From me, I guess.)
Albany dude. December 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Why did my comment get taken down?? Not legit @ all....
Dover December 03, 2012 at 10:26 PM
It's still visible under your profile, though I don't know for how long.
christopher papazoglow December 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I've watched several areas go from thriving and diverse flora and fauna to barren desert wasteland shortly after being designated allowable for off-leash dogs. As stated above, they're will be additional maintenance costs, paid by....... i'm guessing the general public of Albany, most of which won't be using this area to "exercise and socialize" their dogs. I do not understand why there isn't some system set up where dog owners themselves pay for the use/upkeep/maintenance of these areas that are "so important to the well-being of their dogs". Something like an access fee. To those dog owners who would say "Well that's not fair. Other people get to use the area for free", i say, go visit Point Isabel.
Tatter Salad December 03, 2012 at 11:28 PM
You're exactly correct in that all the complaints were originating from ONE neighbor according to the responding Albany Police... this was during a 6 month period when Penelope 'allowed' the sign (refering to the 'Ball Park Area' apply to Area B. When the Police became convinced that the calls were baseless, the calls suddenly shifted to complaints regarding 'Noise' in the AM; these complaints were coming primarily from ONE phone, but sometimes would alternate with another number (According to Chief McQuiston; Thanks Chief!)
Tatter Salad December 03, 2012 at 11:41 PM
You are one (of many) responders who is "guessing" too much. The City of Albany Park department has performed NO maintenance inside the fenced area for over 3 years. The sprinkler are very tired, and the heads need replacement. This has been mentioned by those that actually DO maintain the area (The Albany Little League; which is paid $1800.-/mo. for mowing, and water management; but sprinkler maintenance belongs on the City - not them). They seed and water with a hose in their Diamond area; while there has been NO correct seeding in Area B since the winter of 2010 (according to the Little League). Area B IS suffering from NO GRASS, but it is in areas that receive NO WATER. Then, in immediately adjacent areas there is TOO MUCH water.... again, the sprinklers are at fault. Complaints regarding this for the past year and a half have only RECENTLY been acknowledge and addressed by Penelope Leach, and for some reason she wants $1k to do what she should have been doing for the past 3 years: maintain the sprinklers!
christopher papazoglow December 04, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Okay,Tatter Salad,thank you for the specifics. Nevertheless,i don't feel the need to modify my statement. If the Little League is responsible for the maintenance of their area, then i feel the dog people should bear at least partial responsibility for their area. To me it's a matter of assuming ownership of one's own impact.
Dover December 04, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I think this is a great idea. Let's apply it across the board. If my kids are in private school, why should I have to pay taxes to support public education? And my neighbor who never visits the library, why should she have to pay for those of us who do? And what about road maintenance, people who don't drive shouldn't have to help maintain roads for those who do, should they? I'm weary of assuming ownership for your impact. Thanks for letting me off the hook!
Tatter Salad December 04, 2012 at 02:39 AM
When you look at any 'google map' or 'Bing' map of the area, you will see yellow grass is a problem for both area's A & B. Should dog owners be responsible for both areas? The facts are that there has been NO new sod or properly planted seed in Area B since winter of 2010; and as pointed out by the Little League (actually, sub-contractors to the Little League), there is no point in planting seed in an area that receives no water. Dog Owners in Albany ARE tax-payers; we voted an increased tax upon ourselves because WE EXPECT BETTER. We have higher expectations for services from the Park Department. We did not, for example, do it simply in order to pay off $600k for an ill-conceived (but well meant) study of land use for the Race Track Parking lot.
Warren December 04, 2012 at 05:30 AM
We are a community of diverse people within a shared city space. We each support activities that we participate in and activities and uses that we don't participate in. This is what citizenship is about. I don't have children in school but I pay for Albany's schools. How about we put others' well being (and their pets, children, sporting games etc) as a priority? Maybe they will do the same for you and me.

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