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Nealon Park Capital Improvement Project

From: Brandell, Cherise E <"Brandell,>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2015 09:18:07 -0800

Menlo Park is fortunate to have a broad range of park spaces accommodating the diverse needs of all our residents. Our park system contains parks that are dedicated to open space activities, active park uses, quiet park uses and playgrounds for small children only, just to name a few. We're also fortunate that parks in the center of town have the space available to accommodate many user groups, like Nealon Park, with its tennis courts, playing field, open spaces, senior center, playground and existing dog park. Since the opening of the dog park over ten years ago, dozens of dog park users each day have had a chance to not only exercise their dogs, but to build community with other park users, dog owners and non-dog owners alike.
The ten year "pilot project" to use a playing field as a dog park part of the day has provided the following data:

* The dog park gets heavy use during its open hours (50- 100 users each day)

* Presence of a dog park at Nealon does not adversely impact area residents or other park users with noise or traffic

* Although dog park users are responsible in picking up after their pets, it is not desirable for children to play in the same area used by the dogs. Maintaining the field at the level necessary for safe activities is not possible with the volume of dog traffic, California water restrictions and existing City resources - for sanitary reasons, dogs need a separate area

* Nealon Park has adequate space to accommodate the variety of uses currently occurring at the park, including a separate space for people with dogs

* Dog park users have not negatively impacted the many other users of the park, including tennis players, picnickers, pre-schoolers, seniors and more, and staff believes the multiple uses of Nealon Park continue to be compatible, desirable and appropriate.

* It is not considered "best practice" for dogs and sports / open play to share field space.
Based on these facts, at their meeting on May 19, 2015 (a well-attended meeting posted in the Almanac and at the Park that included various park users), the City Council approved a Capital Improvement Project for the 15-16 Fiscal Year to consider moving the dog park to another location at Nealon Park. Although a final location has not yet been determined, staff has tentatively focused on the open space between Little House and the playground area because:

* It is similarly situated (interior to the park and adjacent to the preschool) as the existing dog park location on the sports field, and furthest from neighborhood residents

* Other open space areas exist in the park that can still be used for other activities, including the open space in the sports field when not in use for sports and spaces between the tennis courts and the street
We want to hear your ideas. A project open house to gather input on the proposed location, possible amenities and any other questions or concerns will be held on Tuesday, November 10 from 7pm - 8pm in the Cypress Room at the Arrillaga Recreation Center. Stop by any time and leave your thoughts on the display boards and talk to staff about the project.
Received on Thu Nov 05 2015 - 09:19:58 PST

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