Where will the pups go?

Dog park discussion referred to Roosevelt Forest Commission

The future of a proposed dog park for Stratford is up in the air.

While the Town Council voted Tuesday to refer the matter to the Roosevelt Forest Commission for a recommendation, the vote was far from unanimous.

Prior to the 6-4 vote to send the topic to the Roosevelt Forest Commission, council members had a lively debate with Roosevelt Forest Commission Chairman Bob David about whether the commission had already offered a recommendation on the dog park.

While David said the council should send its recommendation to his commission for review, some council members said the commission had already weighed in. Second District Councilman Scott Farrington-Posner and 10th District Councilman Tina Manus both said the forest commission voted for having the park in the forest. But David said the commission has never voted on the dog park issue.

David told councilors that minutes from the forest commission’s November meeting were incorrect. While some have said the forest commission has already considered the dog park issue, David said the commission has yet to offer its opinion on whether Roosevelt Forest should be used.

“We’re going to talk about it [at a special meeting next week],” David said Tuesday. “We’re not going to just push this away.”

Several speakers at the council’s public forum asked that the council approve a dog park in Roosevelt Forest. The other popular location, Longbrook Park, was opposed by neighbors of the park, who feared a dog park there would cause problems for neighbors.

David said Tuesday that he believes Longbrook Park is the best spot for the dog area, as it is a central location for residents, but believes putting it there would be a “nightmare” for neighbors and dogs.

“Let the commission do their jobs,” David said, adding that an unused ranger station at Roosevelt Forest would have to be taken down before the location could be suitable for the dog area.

The Dog Park Subcommittee issued a 57-page report analyzing seven possible sites for the dog park, which dog owners have wanted for several years. The Dog Park Subcommittee made no recommendation on a location, but offered that the seven sites met the requirements for a dog play area. The Parks and Recreation Committee recommended choosing between Longbrook Park and Roosevelt Forest.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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