Committee urges permanent dog park

A potential dog park is in the works for the Roosevelt neighborhood. The proposal has been for a temporary park, but the Roosevelt Action Association hopes to see a permanent park built. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

Residents of the Roosevelt neighborhood may soon see a permanent dog park instead of a temporary one, with two possible locations being considered.

The Roosevelt Action Association, which has been opposed to a temporary dog park, said it wishes to continue to design a dog park that is an asset to the community, city and stakeholders involved. RAA President John Coleur said the organization will advocate for a permanent park without taking sides on a specific location.

The group’s discussion on Monday focused on reducing impact on the neighborhood surrounding the proposed dog-park location. The motion was approved with only one objection, which came from committee member Debbi Schilling.

Landscape architect Jason Harrington presented two site plans.

“Site option 1 would allow a larger space, central location and sound buffering from the streets,” Harrington said. “Site 2 would have higher visibility, separation from a neighboring school and close access to the larger park.”

The two sites offer amenities such as an off-leash area, a sound-view buffer, comfort seating areas, fencing security and water spigots.

“The city wants a safe, lit area, and dog owners want a place they can unleash their dogs and mingle,” Harrington said.

Although much of the debate has been over the location of the dog park, nearby property owners are also concerned about noise and the visibility of the site.

Both sites are located south of Culver Street between Third and Fifth avenues, and they were debated heavily among the meeting’s attendees.

“Along with other residents of Roosevelt, I oppose the idea of a temporary dog park at this location,” said Bob Fouty, a property owner and resident of West Culver Street. “We also object to the profound lack of fair process which led to the suggestion of that site.”

Fouty said they started an online petition to urge Phoenix decision makers to reconsider the site.

Some homeowners contended that a temporary dog park would not be as aesthetically pleasing as a permanent, well-implemented dog park.

“If a dog park gets built as a temporary site, it may ultimately end up permanent,” said Fouty. “We don’t want to see chain-linked fences held up by sandbags.”

Design, detail and maintenance of the possible permanent dog park are still months from being debated.

Harris and the RAA agreed that the process of the idea, along with community involvement, is just as important as the design itself.

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Correction: April 17, 2012

An earlier headline on this article incorrectly stated that the RAA supported a dog park at Hance Park. It has been changed to reflect that the committee only supported a permanent dog park rather than a temporary one, without specifying a location. The story has also been changed to better emphasize that the committee did not support any particular location.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the landscape architect on the project as Jason Harris, not Jason Harrington.


  1. It is essential that the customary public processes developed in municipalities across the country also be used here. Inserting a dog park into an established, historic, residential neighborhood that re-stabilized from a prior intrusion of government policy – the destruction caused by I-10 -should be done with concern for maintaining the neighborhood’s stability.
    From an active RAA resident.

  2. The RAA did not formally support any site. They objected to a temproray Dog Park. The members of the public who have serious concerns about this location want someone to listen to those concerns through a fair process that the city has in place and has NOT used to this point. It’s difficult to accept change sometimes, but this problem is multiplied when some group, who for the most part do not live in or near the area, are making contrary decisions based on false or manipulated information for those that do.

  3. The name of the architect was Jason Harrington. He deserves tremendous credit for volunteering his time to provide valuable insight into this difficult issue

  4. It is important for everyone in RAA to remember that the original vision statement for Hance Park (circa 1989) defined uses for areas within the park. The east and central areas were designated as community areas. The west panhandle was designated as a neighborhood park. Roosevelt residents were provided that neighborhood park as mitigation for the busy freeway access and egress (5th and 3rd Aves) that cut through their neighborhood as well as the ADOT emergency power facility situated in the middle of that neighborhood park.
    A dog park is a community use facitlity and is a fine idea for downtown Phoenix if it is located in close proximity to the greatest number of potential users and sited conistent with the original Hance Park vision statement.
    Residents of Roosevelt neighborhood, and the RAA which represents them, must hold the City of Phoenix and the Parks Board to its prior promise and honor the committments of the original Hance Park vision statement as it makes plans to improve the park.

  5. A permanent dog park is great idea to help vitalize the downtown area. There is already a current need by local residents in the central corridor. This would be an investment in the neighborhood and bring more life to the park.

  6. I should clarify that my previous comment was made before the headline was corrected.

    And that I seem to be the only person in or out of City Hall that has done the analysis required to ascertain where a dog park would best serve downtown residents’ needs. Spoiler: it’s NOT at 5th Ave & Culver.