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The Town has now held a meeting with Oxford Court residents to solicit feedback on the proposed "off-the-leash" dog park adjacent to their property (see map below).  There are 40 condo units in Oxford Court with presumably approx. 80 residents and about 40 of those were at the meeting.  Upfront answering questions were Councillor Larry Sherwin, Director of Public Works Bill Watson and Manager of Engineering Services Teresa Behan.  In the audience were councillors Miriam Mutton and Donna Todd.  Bill Watson made it clear that the meeting was called so the residents could tell him what their concerns were and the short version of that was that they were NOT HAPPY!  Although Bill did provide some clarifications, he re-iterated that  his job was to listen and report to council and they would be the final decision makers.

Dog ParkAlso in the audience were Rick Riley from the Oxford Court Property manager, Genedco and representatives of YMCA who own the property being considered.

The concerns of the residents were presented with passion and could be summarized as:

Although Bill Watson said he was neutral and just collecting concerns and that the idea was not a "done deal", he did provide a number of items in defense and clarification of the idea:

At the end of the meeting, residents were given comment sheets to complete and were assured that their concerns would be "listened to".  The deadline for receipt of the comment sheets was Friday November 15.

It seems that we have a classic case of NIMBY except that there are a couple of valid points:

  1. The area proposed is too small - especially as the town grows. By scaling from the map above, I get about 1.6 acres!  In a small area, it's harder to keep small yappy dogs from annoying larger dogs and the joy of being with your dog is lost.  With a buffer zone alongside Oxford Court, the area gets almost miniscule.  Areas flagged for expansion have their own problems.
  2. Why can't the GRCA be convinced to modify the rules and allow the town to fence off an area for this purpose?  We do have two members of Council on the GRCA board and we are paying the GRCA for the James Cockburn area and have an agreement on multi-use.  This is one of the uses we want!

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