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File #: 59475    Version: 1 Name: Proposed Plan to Implement the Statement of Policy and Guidelines for On-Leash Dog Access to the Madison Park System
Type: Communication Status: Discussion Items
File created: 2/6/2020 In control: BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS
On agenda: Final action: 2/12/2020
Enactment date: Enactment #:
Title: Proposed Plan to Implement the Statement of Policy and Guidelines for On-Leash Dog Access to the Madison Park System
Attachments: 1. Proposed Implementation Plan Dogs in Parks.pdf, 2. Dogs in Parks Policy.pdf, 3. Dogs in Parks Public Comments.pdf
Title
Proposed Plan to Implement the Statement of Policy and Guidelines for On-Leash Dog Access to the Madison Park System

Body
In the summer of 2019 the Parks Division began a discussion with the public to consider changing the current policies regarding dogs in parks. The process included five public meetings, a public on-line survey and a media outreach effort. A wide variety of opinions were gathered via the process which has guided the Parks Division’s work on this topic. Once the public process concluded, the Parks Long Range Planning Committee, the Board of Park Commissioners and staff worked to develop a policy that allowed more access for dogs to the parks but also addressed the public’s concerns.

In October of 2019 the Board of Park Commissioners adopted the Statement of Policy and Guidelines for On-Leash Dog Access to the Madison Park System. The guidelines included language on rules for walking dogs in parks and several exceptions where dogs will not be allowed, such as conservation parks, golf courses, Forest Hill Cemetery, the immediate area around playgrounds and splash pads, and groomed cross-country ski trails, as examples.

The Ordinance change to effectuate this new policy has been introduced (Legistar #59294 ). This proposed ordinance change promotes several of the Parks Division’s strategies from our most recent Parks and Open Space Plan, including, designing park facilities to accommodate diverse activities and populations, creating equitable access and increasing engagement with groups and organizations.

In addition to the blanket ban on dogs in the conservation parks, the Ordinance allows the BPC to determine a list of park properties that will be signed as “dog free”. During our public process staff heard from many members of the public who asked for active use parks where dogs would be prohibited. These requests were made for...

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