Penticton adding pair of dog parks

Council approves parks for Lakeside Road and Dartmouth Road, but rejects site at Munson Mountain

Two more dog parks are on their way in Penticton, but Munson Mountain isn’t going to be one of the sites chosen.

The current dog park on the old SPCA site on Dartmouth Road will be expanded with a secondary park area, and an old dog park on Lakeside Road will be brought back into service. But Munson Mountain was dropped from the list of proposed sites at Penticton city council’s regular meeting Tuesday.

The initial dog parks have proved so popular that council decided to continue expanding the program, after backing off a planned dog park near Wiltse Elementary. Director of operations Mitch Moroziuk presented council with three possible sites for future parks, including two variations for city-owned lands on Munson Mountain.

“One is a small site, and that would cost $10,200 to do everything you needed to do to make it a dog park. The second one is a large site and the price is the same,” said Moroziuk, explaining that the larger site would incorporate existing fencing. The smaller site would allow dog owners to keep an eye on their dogs at all times, while owners would have to follow their pets on the larger site to stay in visual range.

“The second site is Lakeside Road, and that was formerly a dog park. We could bring that online for $6,200. The last one is Dartmouth Road, adjacent to the existing dog park that was built by the city yards when we removed the old pound building,” said Moroziuk. “We have some room there, and for a $1,000 we could complete the work we need to at that location.”

Moroziuk said it would be possible to implement all three parks, drawing on $25,000 in funds intended for the city’s share of a new Skaha Park playground, a project that has been put on hold for this year.

“We could reallocate those funds to this project. We have sufficient dollars to build all three of these locations if council wanted to do that,” said Moroziuk, adding that the playground fund would need to be topped up later for the project to go ahead next year.

Barring concerns about limited parking at the Lakeside Road park, council members were enthusiastic about pushing forward with new dog parks, with the exception of the Munson Mountain site.

“The site on Dartmouth Road, for me, is a no-brainer,” said Coun. Garry Litke, who feels action needs to be taken on the site regardless. “Driving by, it looks like an excavated site that needs to be levelled. Something needs to be done with it even if it isn’t a doggy park.”

While Litke also supported the Lakeside Road park, he felt the Munson Mountain site was too big, and unnecessary. The park at the top of Penticton Avenue, he said, is under-utilized and Munson might also be too far out of the way to draw many owners.

“It seems to me to not make much sense to build an off leash dog park too far away from where people live,” said Litke. “Munson Mountain would probably not get as utilized. I think we should stay near where the population is.”