New dog park in Vacaville wins panel support

Originally published in the Daily Republic on January 8, 2015 By Ryan McCarthy.
New dog park in Vacaville wins panel support
Converting land at Centennial Park into an interim dog park estimated to cost $95,000 won unanimous support Wednesday from Community Services Commissioners in Vacaville.
“We have a lot of dog lovers in Vacaville,” Commissioner Alex Henthorn said. “I see this dog park being used for years.”
Planning and preparations for the site should proceed, commissioners agreed.
The only current dog park is located in Lagoon Valley Park and opened in 2003, a report to commissioners noted.
“It continues to serve the public very well, but residents have increasingly requested the provision of additional, larger and more centrally located dog parks,” park planner Hew Hesterman wrote.
Some residents have taken to using fenced ball fields and other park land to exercise their dogs in violation of the city’s leash law, Hesterman added.
Hesterman said at the meeting that the second dog park in the city is more centrally located.
“It’s very difficult to say how much use this new dog park might get,” he added.
But Commissioner Christina Baird, like Henthorn, sees the site as promising.
“It’s going to be pretty popular,” she said.
Commissioner Chairwoman Jennifer Goode said public interest in the new park is strong and that Centennial is the best space available.
“We’re trying to be really responsive right now to the public,” Goode said.
The proposed site covers 1.2 acres while the dog park in Lagoon Valley covers about one-half an acre.
Hesterman had said that the Centennial site would be very basic and the cost estimate does not include trees or grass.
“The dogs tend to be very tough on the turf,” he said.
The dog park at Centennial would be located where mini soccer fields were developed in the late 1990s and used for several years before the synthetic turf wore out and holes and flaps in the fabric created safety concerns, Hesterman said.
The gates were locked in 2006 to prevent injuries and the Vacaville city staff concluded the cost of replacing the synthetic turf would be better spent on larger, natural turf fields, the report noted.