March 18, 2016 - 6:30 PM
SURVEY SHOWS MAJORITY SEE NEED FOR NEW DOG BEACH NEAR DOWNTOWN
KELOWNA - Kelowna has identified eight new possible dog park and beachsites from a survey conducted just last month.
With pressure on to expand the dog park system, city councillors will hear from planner Barb Davidson how the eight sites were chosen and how plans are to winnow them down even more.
The survey shows 38 per cent of Kelowna residents own at least one dog and represent of the largest user groups of the parks system, according to Davidson’s report.
Public opinion is divided on the need for another dog park, Davidson says, but the majority agree the city needs another dog beach and would support a small property tax increase to help pay for it.
Just over half believe there are enough dog parks in the city but 55 per cent think there’s a need for more lake access for dogs.
Downtown is where most people would prefer to see an off-leash dog beach followed by the Mission and the North End.
The possible beach parks include city-owned land around the Cedar Avenue beach access, the Lake Avenue beach access beside the Bennett Bridge or across from Knox Mountain Park on Poplar Drive. The beach acces at 1844 Dewdney Rd. in McKinley Landing and the 'mini-beach' downtown near the Sails plaza are also on the list.
Possible inland park locations include the soon-to-be constructed Glenmore Recreation Park on Valley Road, a portion of Knox Mountain Park East or a section of the Clement Avenue rail corridor between Gordon Drive and Spall Road. A section of Munson Pond Park near KLO Road rounds out the list.
Davidson points out 44 per cent of Kelowna residents would support a new dog beach, more than the number of households that own dogs.
Kelowna’s only legal dog beach is at Cedar Creek Park about 20 kilometres from downtown Kelowna, a distance that has been criticized in previous surveys.
The Southwest/Mission part of the city has the highest concentration of dog owners (44 per cent) followed closely by Downtown/Central (43 per cent).
The statistically valid survey was conducted by NRG Research Group.
Staff are seeking council approval to take the public consultation process a step further by surveying residents in closer proximity to the possible sites. A short list of possible sites and the cost associated with each will returned to council for consideration in the 2017 city budget.
Find more Kelowna dog park stories here.
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