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SK Community Park unleashed?

A portion of South Kitsap Community Park may be on its way to providing what local opposing residents have been unable to come up with so far — a compromise.

In a presentation made Thursday night in front of the South Kitsap Board of Parks and Recreation, Scott and Peggy Hall explained their wish to see a section of the park made into an off-leash dog site similar to what is being proposed at Howe Farm.

Scott and Peggy Hall, members of the Howe Farm Stewardship Committee, indicated in a written proposal to the board their primary objectives were maintaining both structured and unstructured activities for dogs and protecting Howe Farm’s agricultural resources.

“What they’re looking for is an alternative to using Howe Farm,” said Board Chair Larry Walker.

The proposal outlines many amenities that would be featured in the park, including:

-- sufficient open space to accommodate large active breed dogs in vigorous physical activity;

-- sufficient shade, from either tree covers or erected structures, to provide continuous shade availability during warm weather;

-- potable water on-site for pet and human consumption, conveniently located parking sufficient for anticipated usage levels;

-- access to maintained trails (possibly on-leash only);

-- accommodations for dog club activities (meeting space, equipment storage, obedience training ring, etc.);

-- signage (on park perimeter) advertising availability of off-leash use area;

-- restrooms;

-- separate enclosed areas for small or timid dogs needing segregation from general pet area:

-- dog waste disposal facilities;

-- dog-related playground equipment (obstacles), possibly also suited for children’s use;

-- a dog comfort station suitably located so as to encourage wastes to be concentrated in this area; and,

-- a possible dog-oriented water feature.

“It’s an intriguing possibility,“ Walker said. “We’re going to put it into master planning for discussion.”

Walker said the the project would entail a partnership between the Board and the Kitsap County Parks Department.

“This is not going to be a really high-priority, rapid sort of thing,” Walker said. “And I told them that. They said they understood and just wanted to get the concept in play.”

Walker said the board will be inviting Kitsap County Parks and Recreation to discuss the concept prior to making any kind of decision.

“It’s an intriguing concept,” Walker reiterated. “We will consider it, but we’re hardly endorsing it. There are definitely operational logistics to work out if the project is to go forward.”

The board will hold its administrative meeting this week at Saars Market. It will start at 6 p.m. and one of the main topics will be working on bylaw clarifications. The board will continue to take applications to fill its one vacant position.

Applications will be accepted until Dec. 1 and five applications have already been submitted. To download an application form visit www.skparks.org.

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