Cochrane town council’s dog park decision was a lazy disservice

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I saw someone comment a couple weeks ago that the dog park by the Spray Lake Family Sports Centre was awesome. I agree.

That’s probably why some people think dog owners should have to just drive there instead of making a new park. Unfortunately, we are going to lose that space before long as that’s where the new bridge approach is going to be. That’s why the new dog park is kind of a big deal to people. Well, that and the fact that the town has been dragging its heels for five years and is still nowhere on this.

I saw a comment that it’s so nice that council met with the homeowners adjacent to what would have been a dog park, and it’s so nice that they listened and together we can find a place that will work for everyone. I really wish I could buy all that. It’s not as simple as just finding any old scrap of land and declaring it off leash though. Most land is privately held around here.

The land that is public it seems like government can’t sell it off to a developer fast enough. So what you need to find is an area where the town has the freedom to turn into a park but which can’t be readily used for much else.

That’s why the pipeline easement was so attractive. Anything else the town might find will still have a private property next to it. So what happens when those people object? What if it’s just one person? What is the number of people that we get to say the needs of the 4,356 dog owners in town are important too?

Where I think council really and truly failed everyone, including the residents of West Valley in all this, is that there was a perfect opportunity here to take an under utilized eyesore piece of land and turn it into a very attractive park using funds that don’t even come from the town’s coffers.

Yet, instead of taking the time to actually address peoples concerns like they should have, council just listened to them talk then did what required the least amount of effort from them personally, which was to cancel the park.

That act was not only lazy but it was a disservice to the entire community.

Shane Carson

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