Dog day afternoons: Naples closer to opening its own dog park

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An off-leash dog park is closer to reality in the city of Naples.

The city’s planning board on Wednesday voted 5-1 in support of a private group’s plans for an off-leash dog park within city limits.

The decision means the group can move forward with plans for the park, and the proposal could come before Naples City Council for preliminary approval as early as next month.

Board member Wafaa Assaad cast the dissenting vote, while board member D. Wayne Arnold abstained because of a conflict.

The park — dubbed Central Bark by its creators — is tentatively scheduled to be built on the city’s campus on Riverside Circle. The park will include space for small and large dogs, sidewalks, fences and water fountains.

The two-phase project comes with a projected cost of more than $205,000, and the group behind the park hopes to raise as much in private funding for the park as possible.

While the group has proposed a $120-a-year user fee, Naples architect Matthew Kragh said Wednesday the group hopes to raise enough money to build the park and create an endowment for maintenance instead of charging a fee.

The group has raised $65,000 in about five weeks toward the project, Kragh said. The group is continuing to solicit donations through its Web site,

The park proposal still needs to be approved by Naples City Council before construction can begin.

Connect with Naples reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at

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Comments » 1

JLC writes:

I'm from Indianapolis. We have a lot of private dog parks. I'm very glad to pay the yearly fee. Here, we use an access card to enter the park. Even though a membership may cost a lot, at least you know the dogs are vaccinated and neutered/spayed. If a dog draws blood from another dog or human, their access card is denied. These parks keep out aggressive breeds.The public dog parks get the dogs who are not immunized (even though they are suppose to be but no one polices the park to keep those dogs out)and some may not be neutered/spayed. In the end, it's safer for your dog to be in a private park and may save you dollars in the long run. I'm on line looking to see if I can find a private park in the Naples area.

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