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Kelowna tackles need for second dog beach

Sutherland Park beach in the North End. The city is looking at where to put the next dog beach and some have suggested Sutherland Park.
October 19, 2015 - 6:35 PM

KELOWNA - There isn't a lot to building a dog park — but figuring out where to put it can take years.

With that in mind, the city’s urban planning manager Terry Barton is proposing the city start a public engagement process to figure out what is needed and, most importantly, where people will tolerate another dog park.

“There are many social and health benefits that both on- and off-leash dog parks can provide to the community,” Barton writes in a report to city council. “However dogs also present challenges and potential conflicts in public spaces.”

Another dog beach tops the list for a new dog-friendly zone. Kelowna’s only dog-legal waterfront area is Cedar Creek Park beach, which is at least 20 kilometres from downtown Kelowna.

Last summer, the city received two petitions calling on the parks department to open up Sutherland Park in the North End to dogs. The beach used to be a dog facility until pressure from local residents made the city shut it down about 15 years ago.

The Interior Health Authority has also said it frowns on having a dog beach next door to a regular beach because of health concerns from dog feces and urine.

Barton says Kelowna is relatively well served with the existing nine off-leash dog areas, compromising 13.7 hectares of parkland. That works out to 7.5 dog areas per 100,000 population, compared to Prince George (4.2 parks) and Vancouver (6 parks). The most dog friendly city is Kamloops with 19.2 dog parks per 100,000 residents.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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