NAPLES — A Naples advisory board said this week it supports plans to build an off-leash dog park on city property.
The city’s community services advisory board on Tuesday threw its support behind all aspects of a private group’s plans for an off-leash dog park, including a proposed user fee.
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 plans to fund-raise to help construct the park, the plan includes an annual fee, which would go toward operating and maintenance costs.
The group is proposing a $120-a-year user fee, said Naples attorney Will Dempsey, one of the community members behind the park.
Central Bark would be the only park in Collier County to charge a user fee. Rover Run at Veterans Community Park in North Naples is free, while Canine Cove at Mackle Park on Marco Island accepts donations to maintain the park.
While the board supported Dempsey’s proposal, board member Rosyln Katz said she was slightly concerned about the user fee and registration process.
“There’s something to me that’s wrong about having to register to go to a dog park,” Katz said. “To me it doesn’t go with the dog park. There’s something more welcoming about a dog park than having to be registered, and licensed and signing agreements in advance.”
Dogs would receive tags – much like their county registration tags – in order to use the park. Dempsey said one of the reasons behind requiring registration would be to protect the city from liability.
The registration process would ensure all of the dogs had the necessary shots and paper work required by the group.
The board’s support means the park is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The park proposal will be discussed sometime in April by the city’s planning advisory board, and if approved will go before Naples City Council sometime late this spring.