Dog park to be unleashed at Council workshop

Parks Director to present pros and cons of big dog, little dog areas planned for Mackle Park

Marco's dog park plans first went before Council March 16 with separate fenced areas for big dogs and small dogs in the southwestern corner of Mackle Park.
Courtesy of City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

Photo by Courtesy of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

Marco's dog park plans first went before Council March 16 with separate fenced areas for big dogs and small dogs in the southwestern corner of Mackle Park. Courtesy of City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

— Dog owners uniting for an off-leash dog park are hoping their plans aren’t snarled by opposition at Marco’s Council workshop Monday.

Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk will present the pros and cons of a plan for a fenced in area for small dogs and a larger one for big dogs at the southern end of Mackle Park.

Milk said several dog owners have committed funding for the construction of the dog park, which is estimated to cost $45,000.

“The improvements required for constructing an off-leash dog park facility for big and small dogs would be provided by donations,” Milk reported.

No cost to the city is anticipated other than possibly maintenance.

City Councilman Jerry Gibson set up an account in memory of Staci Kelley, who died suddenly in November 2008, with donations to go towards Kelley’s long-held dreams of a place for her dogs to roam free.

Milk said neighbors to the park are opposing the dog facility insisting it will lower property values, emit odor and interrupt their quality of life. They also oppose the placement of fencing.

The proposed big dog area will be 1.25 acres and the area for small dogs will be .19 acres.

Water is available for the dog park and a pedestrian pathway provides access.

Code enforcement issues, including a proposal for the Code Enforcement Board to have the authority to mitigate fines instead of City Council, will also be discussed at the workshop.

Also under consideration is a potential requirement for all new commercial developments to be required to incorporate artwork in their project or donate money to the city’s “public art fund.” The ordinance drafted by the Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee would be considered by the Planning Board if Council approves moving forward with the idea.

The City Council work session is 3 p.m. Monday in the Community Room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive, downstairs from the police station.

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Comments » 2

marcoislandres writes:

Why can't the dog park be incorporated into the veterans park plans? at least it would not be 10 feet from someones back yard. And yes it will affect the property values of the people who live on the south end of the park. I am all for a dog friendly city but not at the expense of the people who live on the park. I don't want to look at an ugly chain link fence when I walk around the park, the barbed wire at the water plant is bad enough.

hourigan82247 writes:

Who will clean up after the dog owners don't? You know it's just a matter of time before the area stinks of dog litter. My guess is that a city worker will have to do what the dog owners don't do; at the taxpayer's (and non dog owners) expense.

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