District moves to fence out dogs | ParkRecord.com

District moves to fence out dogs

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Dog owners in the Snyderville Basin ignore signs posted at Willow Creek Park that warn them their pets are not welcome at picnic areas and playgrounds near Old Ranch Road.

"There are some who just don’t appreciate them being around their children in that environment," Bonnie Park, a spokeswoman for the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District, told the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. "Fencing the playground was not part of the plan all along."

But someone complained to the department that dogs antagonize people at the park.

"There probably are more," Park said about the number of citizens upset by unleashed pets.

A dog jumped recently onto a picnic table at Willow Creek to snatch food from a group enjoying lunch.

Addressing the problem means building a four-foot high fence, with a black matte finish, around picnic areas and playgrounds at Willow Creek Park, which is situated near the intersection of Old Ranch Road and Split Rail Lane.

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Building the fence requires Basin Recreation obtain a conditional use permit. Snyderville Basin planning commissioners have weighed in. But the final decision rests with the Summit County Commission.

According to Park, Willow Creek has "become a great asset to the Snyderville Basin."

Meanwhile, temporary fencing at the park hasn’t worked to restrain unleashed dogs, she added.

"We’ve worked with animal control and they’re trying to do what they can," said Basin Recreation Parks and Facilities manager Bruce Dickens. "There is no barrier."

Planning Commissioner Kathy Kinsman says she supports the plan for fences.

Recreation district officials, however, admit they didn’t consider wildlife migrating through the park while conceiving the plan.

"Is there any concern (for wildlife)?" Planning Commissioner Flint Decker asked.

Basin Planning Commissioner Claudia McMullen asked why signs at the park haven’t worked.

"I see dogs continue to run in the playground," Dickens responded adding that signs haven’t deterred some people from letting their dogs run loose."