Aberdeen’s first dog park took another step toward reality Tuesday when the City Council amended the city’s municipal code to allow for off-leash pets in designated areas.
At a meeting earlier in the month, Parks Director Stacie Barnum said the amendment was needed in order for the dog park to be in compliance with city code.
Previously, the council had approved a contractor for the dog park fencing, and the city has ordered new playground equipment as part of improvements to Garley Park in South Aberdeen.
The city code originally read, “All dogs or other pets or domestic animals must be kept on leash no greater than eight feet in length and under control all times at the park.” To allow for the dog park, the amendment added to that, “except in areas designated and posted by the Department as ‘off leash pet areas.’”
Because it required a change to city code, the amendment required three separate readings and public hearings. There was no public comment at any of the previous meetings and Tuesday the council passed the amendment unanimously.
The fenced-off leash area at Garley Park will be zoned to allow smaller dogs and owners to use the park separated from larger dogs, have a double gated entry to each side, and will be ADA compliant.
The park improvements include an expanded playground area with some new equipment, including a zip line and a four-person teeter totter, Barnum told the council. The new equipment will be placed near the existing climbing wall, slide and swings on the north end of the park next to the parking area on West Huntley Street.
The equipment “in the bark area will stay, the playground will increase in size,” said Barnum. The fenced dog park will be toward the south end of the park.
The project is primarily funded by grants and donations: $50,000 from the Morrison Trust, $25,000 from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation, $2,500 from the Sierra Pacific Foundation, and $250 from the Aberdeen Lions Club.