Sun City residents call for new dog park

Original site deemed unsuitable

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The Recreation Centers of Sun City Board of Directors has received another request to consider a second dog park for the community.

The initial request for a second dog part was made in 2015 from residents who felt the community’s lone dog park — Duffeland Dog Park — lacked segregated areas for smaller or older dogs.

The RCSC purchased the Duffeeland Dog Park several years ago and made upgrades to the land. But the park is not divided to allow separated space for small and large dogs. Some residents believe that would enhance the experience for owners and pets.

“I would like to see the board revisit the request for a second dog park,” resident Tracy Bussinarger told the board during its Jan. 30 meeting.

When the original request was made, RCSC staff identified a location near the Sun Bowl and softball field, 10220 N. 107th Ave., for the second park. But no action was taken on the request and the matter slowly faded away.

Part of the reason the project did not proceed is the location identified is actually used as a drainage area. During times of rain there would be flooding and access to the park, if built there, would be limited.

“The land proposed was part of a drainage area,” Dale Lehrer, RCSC board vice president, said. “That is not an ideal spot because of flooding.”

Chris Herring, RCSC assistant general manager, was not part of the original discussion in 2015 but confirmed the area is used as a retention basin. He believed that could have been a factor in the project not going forward.

Resident Betsy Martoosh believes a second dog park is necessary to provide a different venue for some dog owners.

“Not all dog handlers are alike,” she told the board. “You have old dogs and the elderly, who mostly have small dogs; but we now have more energetic people and dogs, and seasonal residents with huge dogs.”

She explained there have been elderly ladies who come to look at Duffeeland Dog Park, 14610 N. Del Webb Blvd., and leave without using the park.

“They see the activity in the park and don’t use it out of fear,” Ms. Martoosh said.

While the original site chosen was not suitable, RCSC board member Michael Kennedy suggested another location adjacent to the Sun Bowl to the north. He described the land as being a bit narrow where it begins at 107th Avenue but it widens out as it goes west toward the softball field.

“There is room there for a small dog park,” he said. “It would not be the Taj Mahal, but it is usable space that can be converted.”

RCSC board member Sue Wilson believed the request should go to the corporation’s Long Range Planning Committee for research. But Mr. Kennedy disagreed.

“It is my understanding the Long Range Planning Committee handles projects with a cost of $300,000 or more. this would not meet that level,” he said. “This would be a good time to look into this idea (second dog park) again.”

The RCSC board will next meet 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in the auditorium at Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave.

Duffeeland Dog Park was privately owned prior to its purchase by RCSC officials. When it came under the control of the rec centers, the Duffeeland Dog Park Club was formed to oversee the area. While facilities there were upgraded, including a double gate entry to help control dogs coming and going, the RCSC does not have monitors there like at other facilities.

Prior to Duffeeland’s inclusion in RCSC, the corporation’s only offering for dog owners was the Best Friends Dog Club and its small training area at Fairway Recreation Center, 10600 W. Peoria Ave.

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