We need more dog parks

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I’m writing about the lack of dedicated dog parks in most neighborhoods in Cochrane or any planning on this matter. Many households have dogs as pets that have exercising and bathroom needs that need to be met. We have the time to drive to and use the designated off leash park along the river behind the recreation centre, but many just use the handy local playgrounds, environmental reserve and path systems for this purpose. This informal system may seem to work well for these dog owners but can have a negative impact on other stakeholders in the community. In our case, backing on to environmental reserve, we are required to host this public service. We have a narrow field dropping off quickly behind our small backyard. This forces people right up behind our backyard fence. This fence is required by the developer to be only a four-foot chain link fence (in reality 3.5-foot) and offers no privacy from the public. In the summer, we get between 50 and 100 people a day behind our backyard, most with dogs.

My question to the Parks Department is: Does environmental reserve equal dog walking and bathroom area? Is this the Town of Cochrane’s informal solution to the lack of designated dog parks? The irony on our street (Ridge View Place in Riversong) is we are forced to pay some of the highest taxes in Cochrane (more than $5,000 per year based on backing on to environmental reserve) while not even allowed to have a privacy fence separating us from the informal neighborhood dog park. It seems one can prevent an official dog park backing on to your backyard as was done recently but you have no rights when it is unofficial.

Ron Weedmark

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