City staff recommend approving Upper Maple Ridge park as a permanent off-leash dog area

City staff recommend approving Upper Maple Ridge park as a permanent off-leash dog area

Two off-leash dog areas in Maple Ridge recommended for approval

There have been some complaints about noise, smells, cleanliness, proximity to the kids playground.

Westview and Upper Maple Ridge parks will become permanent off-leash dog areas, if city council agrees with a staff recommendation.

According to a Jan. 9 staff report, people generally like the two off-leash areas, which have been running on a trial basis for about a year.

There have been some complaints about noise, smells, cleanliness, proximity to the kids playground and loss of use of the area to general park users.

But there have also been requests for benches, a separate area for small dogs, a dog-watering station and better paths.

Staff also said that there have been three requests for more off-leash areas.

If council approves making the off-leash areas in Westview and Upper Maple Ridge Park permanent, then Maple Ridge will have four off-leash areas, including those in Jerry Sulina Park and Albion Fairgrounds.

One resident said that his or her family had to leave Westview Park early because of a hostile dog and that pet owners don’t clean up feces, which created a bad smell in the summer.

The writer also said that off-leash areas are usually located away from children’s play areas.

“Apparently, no lessons were learned as a result of the fiasco from building a dog park adjacent to the playground at Volker Park,” the writer added.

The Volker Park off-leash area was removed several years ago after neighbours complained.

“Unless the city takes action to remove the [off-leash] area, my family will no longer visit Westview Park,” says the writer.

David Boag, parks and facilities director, replied that the site was selected because of the surrounding tree cover, which helps reduce noise, and that many people like the location.

Council will consider the report at a meeting next week.