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Residents: Build dog park, but not near me

Dog owners -- and non-dog owners -- offered lots of reasons not to have a new dog park close to home.

Candy Lee.

Almost all residents speaking at an online meeting this evening told city staff that Evanston should build a new dog park — but not put it in their neighborhood.

A city staff analysis listed Clark Square Park on the lakefront as the highest-rated location that was actually big enough to accommodate a dog park

A slide from the city staff presentation. The blue tint shows the proposed dog park site.

Candy Lee was one of several people who live near Clark Square Park who opposed turning about a quarter of it into a fenced dog park.

She said dogs escaping from the park and running onto busy Sheridan Road would be “a huge worry.”

Tom Durrenberger complained that the Clark Square Park wasn’t centrally located — and the dog park, he said, should be.

David Griebler.

David Griebler said Clark Square would be “a horrible choice” and that the high-density area doesn’t have the parking to allow additional people to come into the neighborhood.

How city staff rated Lovelace Park.

Betsy and Alan Turovitz

Betsy Turovitz said putting the dog park at Lovelace Park would create “extreme noise problems” for her and other neighbors of the park.

Her husband Alan said any city staff who thought the proposed minimum of 50-foot separation from homes was adequate “should have their hearing checked.”

He said the meadow-like area proposed for the park “is a beautiful natural area and putting a fenced-in dog park there “would be such an insult.”

Sigrid Pilgrim was another Lovelace Park neighbor who opposed that location. “Lots of dogs parking — that’s not what neighbors are looking forward too,” Pilgrim said.

The staff evaluation for Ingraham Park.

Ingraham Park, behind the Civic Center was also suggested by staff as a high-rated location for a dog park.

But Michelle Spangenberg, who lives nearby, objected to losing the open park space saying “it’s too small to begin with.”

Spangenberg suggested Twiggs Park as a location for the dog park, as did several other speakers at the meeting. But it appeared that no one who actually lives near Twiggs Park spoke up to support that location, and city staff is already considering locating a skate park in Twiggs and seemed reluctant to double up on the new uses for that park along the North Shore Channel west of Green Bay Road.

Kathleen Skoller.

And Kathleen Skoller, who didn’t mention where she lives, said there aren’t enough trees at Twiggs Park and Ingraham has more trees — and a huge parking lot that would make it easy to provide parking for dog owners.

City Engineer Lara Biggs said staff would review the feedback from residents and planned to hold at least one more public meeting before recommending to City Council where a new dog park should be located.

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