An off-leash dog area, also called a dog park, is an area where dogs can run, play and socialize off leash with their owners in an enclosed, designated area.
The City has been evaluating potential off-leash dog areas since 2005. A volunteer group of City residents has been meeting regularly since 2006 to help identify and evaluate sites with City staff. Proposed rules for a dog park have also been created by the group.
If the City chooses to design an off-leash dog area, there will be opportunities for neighborhood input as well as a need for volunteers to help accomplish the construction and ongoing operation of the site.
The original concept design for Southbridge Community Park showed a possible location for the City's third Fire Station within the park. The City Council has made a motion to postpone the discussion of the third Fire Station in this area for a minimum of three years. In addition there are a few other locations within this area for a future Fire Station. Staff has been directed to take the Fire Station off of the park plans and look at how the park can be developed to best serve the community at this time. WSB has put together two final concept designs for Southbridge Community Park.
Concept One spreads the amenities of the park out, placing the hockey rink to the east and the dog park to the west. Based on feedback a small dog area was added. This concept shows a drive-through access to the park and separates the parking areas for the different amenities. Concept Two is based on the original concept plan with the hockey rink located near the dog park with one shared parking area. The parking area in this concept was rotated to the east from the original concept based on feedback and concerns from the residents of the parking lot being too close to their residence. Also, based on feedback a small dog area was added.
The volunteer dog park committee commented on the concepts Sept. 16. The PRAB reviewed the concepts at its Sept. 23 meeting. The PRAB recommended Concept One 6-0 (Krieger absent) to the City Council and directed staff and WSB to develop cost estimates and specifications based on Concept One. The PRAB liked Concept One because it spread out the amenities, flowed with the park and the contours and moved the parking lot away from the residents.
Also, most dog parks in the metro area require a daily fee or pass. The City will review this idea and determine if there will be a fee, what the fee will be and how it will be managed. Three Rivers Park District manages a number of dog parks in the surrounding metro area. One possibility would be to partner with Three Rivers Park District on the dog park pass and daily fees to allow more opportunities for patrons of the dog park. The PRAB discussed this idea on Sept. 23 and directed staff to further explore this possible partnership and to bring back the findings to a future meeting.
The PRAB's recommendation of Concept One along with cost estimates and specifications is currently planned to be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
On Aug. 7, 2013, the City Council approved the official name of "Southbridge Community Park" for the park previously referred to as Parcel 75/Dog Park. The City Council also approved the hiring of WSB & Associates Inc. to work with city staff, the dog park committee and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in developing the final design for the park.
A community meeting for comments on the concept of Parcel 75 was held on April 1, 2013, at Red Oak Elementary School. Approximately 16 people were in attendance (this does not include the PRAB members or City Council member who also attended). Participants completed a comment form and the comment form was available to the public until April 19. A summary of all the comments received is attached.
The community input listed water as the No. 1 desired amenity. The ability to bring water to the site is available. There is a waterline along Southbridge Parkway that can be tapped into. Other comments included additional plantings to increase the buffer between the houses and the park and parking lot.
In addition to the community input staff has been working with MnDOT and Xcel Energy to ensure the park plan was acceptable. MnDOT is currently putting together a lease agreement for the use of two of the five acres on the north end of the park. The two acres would make the dog park larger. At this time MnDOT will charge $500/year for the lease of the two acres. Xcel Energy reviewed the plans because a large portion of the dog park in planned within their easement. The City has received a preliminary letter from Xcel Energy approving the concept plan. Xcel Energy will review the final design once completed and an encroachment agreement will be executed allowing the use of their easement.
Finally, WSB was hired to conduct a soil survey of the site to determine if the sandy soils of the site can withstand the traffic of the park users. It was found that the soils are highly erodible; however, there are options to minimize the erosion through additional plantings, site preparation, and strategic design. The soils and topography of the site will be addressed during the final design of the park.
On May 20, 2013, the PRAB reviewed and discussed the community comments, MnDOT and Xcel Energy's comments and the soil survey results. The PRAB is recommending to the City Council to complete the final design of the park including construction plans and specifications.
The Dog Park Committee will meet in August and/or September to discuss with staff construction assistance, naming of the dog park area, rules and potential fees.
The comment period for the park proposal has closed. The Parks and Rec Advisory Board will review all comments at its May 20 meeting.
A community meeting was held April 1 for residents to provide feedback on the park proposal. Community members who were unable to attend can still provide comments by filling out this comment form. Email the form to email@example.com or mail to Shakopee Parks & Recreation, Attn: Jamie Polley, 1255 Fuller St. S., Shakopee, MN 55379, by April 15. The Park and Recreation Advisory Board will review all comments at its April 22 meeting.
In December 2012, Shakopee Parks and Recreation was looking for citizens to serve on a Dog Park Committee. Twenty-seven people volunteered for the committee. The committee met Feb. 7 where it reviewed the preliminary concept plan approved by the City Council. The group was very enthusiastic about the potential for a dog park in Shakopee located in the Southbridge area.
The City will now host an open house for the community from 7-8 p.m. April 1, 20 in the Red Oak Elementary School cafeteria (see flyer). The City is looking for feedback on the concept of a dog park and desired features. The dog park is planned to be constructed on the west side of the park mostly under the Xcel Energy power lines. The dog park will contain open and wooded areas. Trails will be constructed throughout the dog park so that users can enjoy all areas of the park with their dogs. The rest of the park will remain heavily wooded and contain trails for users to enjoy the natural beauty of the park. A future hockey rink is proposed for southern part of the park to meet the need for hockey/ice skating within this area of the City. Questions? Call (952) 233-9500.
Shakopee Parks and Recreation is looking for citizens to serve on a Dog Park Committee to help develop a possible new off-leash dog park along Southbridge Parkway in east Shakopee. The City Council approved a preliminary plan to develop the park area in November 2012. Committee members will be asked to attend several meetings and help promote the park in the community. If you're interested in joining the Dog Park Committee, please email Jamie Polley at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Jan. 18. Questions? Call (952) 233-9500.
The City has acquired MnDot Parcel 75 and is currently researching the potential uses of the site. The citizen Off Leash Dog Area group is inactive at the moment and will be reactivated if a potential site is determined.
The City continues to search for a site that will be large enough to provide a good size dog park. MnDot parcel 43/37 was reduced in size and is not an ideal site at this time. MnDot parcel 75 is a parcel that is being transferred to the City and may provide an area for a possible dog park. Once the City obtains the parcel, staff will evaluate the available space and needs of the City.
The City continues to search for a site that will be large enough to provide a good size dog park. MnDot parcel 43/37 was reduced in size and is not an ideal site at this time.
The February 11 Off Leash Dog Area Group Meeting has been postponed. Staff is waiting to receive further information on the MnDoT parcel 43/37 site.
Staff has confirmed with MnDoT the area we would like to use within the land that MnDoT has indicated is available. The parcel available has been significantly reduced in size from the original parcel. It is now around 4 acres in size. MnDoT is working on an appraisal of this area. After we get the appraisal, we will be ready to meet with the group again and discuss how to move forward.
The current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Budget adopted for 2008 does not allocate any funding for the Off Leash Dog Area this year. The slowdown in construction has reduced projected revenue for the Park Reserve Fund significantly, and the city has had to re-prioritize projects. Off Leash Dog Area funding is deferred to 2009, since there is not a final site selected. In 2009, the current plan shows $24,000 from Park Reserve and $20,000 in donations to be allocated for design and construction.
The Off Leash Dog Area group has decided not to proceed with a dog park at Scenic Heights Park at this time. The group is going to reevaluate the Blue Lake, MnDot Parcel and Southbridge Parkway sites. The group's next meeting will be at 6 p.m., Jan. 21, 2008, at City Hall. Click here for a list of upcoming meetings.
The Off Leash Dog Area group met on Sept. 10 to hear feedback from the Aug. 27 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. The Advisory Board reviewed schematic drawings of two smaller City-owned sites: Scenic Heights Park and the Community Center. Due to the uncertainty of possible expansion or changes with the Community Center site, the Advisory Board preferred the Scenic Heights site and directed staff to hold a public Open House with neighbors and residents (see above). The MnDoT-owned site south of Town Square Mall has been identified as potential right of way for one of the proposed river crossings for CR 41 and is being studied in an Environmental Impact Study (EIS), which will be released in summer 2008. The Advisory Board decided to hold off on pursuing a lease for this site until after the CR 41 alignment is announced.
The Off Leash Dog Area group met on April 16 and decided that the preferred site to be proposed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board would be the MnDoT-owned site south of Town Square Mall. The site could potentially be leased from MnDot. This site would have higher initial development costs, as it is currently farmed and would need seeding trails and trees, in addition to fencing. However, the site is potentially available in 2008.
The Off Leash Dog Area Project was presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Dec. 18, 2006. Schematic designs for Tahpah Park and Blue Lake were presented along with proposed rules and operating policies and possible funding. The Advisory Board made a recommendation to the City Council in support of the project, and they favored the Tahpah Park site. On Jan. 2, 2007, the Off Leash Dog Area concepts were presented to the City Council. The Council directed staff to first pursue discussions with the owner of the Blue Lake site. Staff is working on establishing contacts to begin discussions on this site.
The fifth meeting of the Off Leash Dog Area Group was held Nov. 27. Discussion included: review of the proposed rules, review of the schematic price estimate for the Blue Lake site, funding and possible volunteer contributions. Plans were made to make a presentation to the Park and Recreation Advisory Board at the December meeting, at which time the Blue Lake and Tahpah Park sites will be detailed.
A new group of Off Leash Dog Area Users is forming with their first meeting scheduled for September 25th at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. This group will help evaluate sites and amenities for the future Off Leash Dog Area and provide input to the Parks & Rec Advisory Board and City Council. Please see the upcoming meetings page for more information.
The city will continue to collect information on the most suitable of the three potential sites. Memorial Park was the site preferred by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, with the Blue Lake site second. Both of these sites have either easement or ownership issues to be resolved before this park development can occur. Though there is no funding in the current Capital Improvements Projects Budget for this project, the city has an Eagle Scout candidate who has offered to help fund and construct the Off Leash Dog Area through donations and using volunteer labor. Please check in with this website periodically to look for your opportunity to help!
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