DC Wants User Friendly Dog Park Regulations!

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    DC Department of Parks and Recreation
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    Members of DCDOG
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We, the undersigned, as concerned tax-paying DC residentsdog owners and non-dog ownerswant a reasonable set of rules to allow for the establishment of Dog Exercise Areas (DEAs) in our neighborhoods. The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has developed proposed regulations that will preclude the development of DEAs in most neighborhoods throughout the District.

We do not believe that dogs are more important than people, but we do believe that dog owners are equal to other park patrons and should be treated equitably. We believe that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and its partner agencies must provide the same privileges, status, and rights to proponents of DEAs as they do to other park patrons (e.g., playgrounds, tennis courts, athletic fields, swimming pools, and community gardens). We believe that DPR should apply equitable rules and standards to all park patrons and that dog owners and DEAs should not be held to a higher standard for park use.

Are other park patrons:

Restricted to a minimum or maximum square footagee.g.10, 000 sq.
feet-- no more than 25\% of total park, and no steeper than 5\% slope?

Required to provide contact information for use of park; and are
they required to obtain such information on all residents within a
specified block radius?

Required to certify a rat-free zone within a 5-block radius?

Required to be separated by 200 feet from all other park
patrons, businesses, and residential housing?

Required to be within 50 feet from water source and sewage lines?

Required to obtain consent of the community to establish their form
of recreation?

Required to be sponsored by a 501 (c) 3 group to establish desired
recreation facility?

Required to pay for the desired facility?

We formally request that the regulations be rewritten to facilitate the development of DEAs throughout the city and in accordance with the intent and the spirit of the law passed by DC Council in November 2005. We request that revised regulations incorporate suggestions made in DCDOGs Comprehensive Response that reflect common practices in other urban areas nationwide.

We also request that representatives from DCDOG, animal organizations (e.g. Washington Humane Society and WARL), veterinarians, and other interested stakeholders be involved in a task force to assist with the process of analyzing public comments and working on revised regulations--facilitating a negotiated rulemaking process

Because the current regulations need major revisions, we believe DPR should offer the public another opportunity to comment on the revised proposed regulations before they are published in their final form. We believe the revised proposed regulations should be published for public comment no later than September 1, 2007 with an effective date no later than December 31, 2007.

Kathy Silva on behalf of DCDOG: a community action group working for the development of legal, fenced-in, OFF LEASH, dog exercise areas in DC.