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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials September 28, 2016

8/16/2012 1:07:00 PM
Editorial: Be the first to volunteer to have dog park 75 feet from your home

Dog parks seem to fall into the category of sewer plants and landfills.

Everyone agrees that they are a needed component of a community.

Just don’t put it near my house.

So it should not come as a surprise that the 4-year-old Cottonwood Dog Park is embroiled in controversy not only over its current location, but also the proposed sites to where it could be moved.

First, you have to sympathize with Janice Allen. She’s lived on the same picture-postcard property for 36 years and for the past four years she’s had a dog park for a neighbor. For those who claim she’s making a big fuss over nothing, a little Golden Rule soul searching would be in order. Would you like to have a dog park just 75 feet from your home?

The city is considering creating a sound-barrier wall between the dog park and Allen’s home. It also is looking at three sites for re-location: Next to the Adopt for Life shelter on Mingus Avenue, the North Clear Zone of the Cottonwood Airport, and on Mingus Avenue, next to the reclaimed water pond, opposite the Fire Training Center. Residents at Cottonwood Ranch already have voiced opposition to having it near the Humane Society … for reasons identical to those Allen has complained about.

The other two sites certainly would not be as convenient for dog park enthusiasts as the current facility near Riverfront Park. But they might be the solution the city needs in terms of the dog park not being intrusive.

And, please, let’s ditch the sentiment that Janice Allen is the bad guy in this controversy. She has a legitimate beef. Remember this: None of the people who worked so hard to create a dog park in Cottonwood volunteered to have it 75 feet from their homes.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: Cynthia Malla

Before moving the entire park, try moving the noisiest areas to the far side of the park, away from peoples' homes. That would be the small dog area and the bench under the shade tree in the large dog area. Build a seating area and a shade structure on the far side of the park in the large dog area. Perhaps change the entrance and the garbage bins to the far side of the park too. A sound barrier might help as well. I think the park is situated in an appropriate area because it's part of a recreational park which is a already a noisy active place. Where would be a more appropriate place for it?

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: Common Sense

This Dog Park situation is getting ridiculous (as usual in the Verde Valley). This Dog Park took a lot of work by dedicated citizen volunteers and the dedicated staff with the City of Cottonwood. To move this Dog Park because of ONE resident is complaining is not warranted. I hear more noise coming from the playing field on a regular basis, with kids/parents screaming/yelling. I, personally, would rather have a Dog Park next to me than a Playing Field with screaming/yelling kids, trash, and cars parked illegally all over the parking lot. After all this time since the Dog Park was moved from Old Town (temporary location) to its present location, The City of Cottonwood should not be "bullied" into moving the Dog Park because one resident is complaining. If the City submits to this one complainer, she will probably start another complaint campaign about something else that moves into the present area (or something that is already there). The Dog Park is a much needed community venue that has brought joy to the many people/dogs it serves. We drive from Clarkdale to use it, and it is in a central location to serve all the communities. Hang tough, City of Cottonwood!

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Bad Gremlin

Who owns the vacant land across from the entry to Dead Horse? Could it not be moved to that area? Still in the riparian zone so grass and trees will grow, yet far enough away from homes. And with Dead Horse guard house across the way, the manned outpost can watch for crime.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Just Allot

of people complaining about the park who have nothing better to do with their life. Far as the noise you get way more from the ballpark. I don't remember the complaints before the park was built. Most of the ones I see going are older people This is their time to get out and visit their friends plus let the dogs have a good time. You put the park way out in the boonies then many of the ones going won't be able to go. I bet most complaint came from just a very few people What next to please them?? Shut down the ballpark maybe??

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Incredulous Observer

Since when are dog parks " a needed component of a community"? That is ridiculous. Citizens who do not own dogs should not be forced to spend their tax dollars on doggy do parks for people who do. If people want a dog park it should be privately funded by the doggy do crowd and be remote from any residential property. Janice Allen should be suing the town of Cottonwood for as much as she can get.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Billy D.

What's the big deal? Everytime I go to Riverfront park, I hardly notice the dog park. The first thing I see or hear is screaming kids at the playground or the ball fields. What is this lady complaining about? Her complaint is bunk. The dogs are quiet, the park is kept clean. No problem.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

The best thing about dogs is that they are happy anywhere - especially in the company of their fellow dogs (they don't really need humans if they have a pack). Any safe, fenced in area with shade and water will satisfy them.

It's the humans that cause the problems. The humans want a "convenient location", with mowed grass, etc. (like a park), so they can socialize with other dog owners. Humans can be selfish and inconsiderate. Dogs? Not so much.

Give Janice back her neighborhood and move the dog "country club" to a patch of grass between two dog owner's houses.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: Ann Metlay

I am a regular at the dog park. I have taken my two mini-doxies to the dog park for over a year. We do police ourselves and our dogs. A non-biased observer would certainly note a significant noise-reduction over the past three months.

The dogpark is a plus for the community. It i a place where people can meet one another with a built-in connection already established. As a person moving here after I retired, I have found a close knit community of people who do not only share their love of dogs, but also their care for one another. We celebrate one another's birthdays, have helped one another when in crises such as illness or family emergencies.

Our dogpark is known as one of the best in Arizona. I frequently meet people from Phoenix and other parts of the valley who drive the tw-hours just to give their dogs a place to play.

I walk my dogs daily. Because they are together, they do play at home. But when the hour comes for going to the dogpark, both dogs are sitting quietly by the door waiting for their chance to meet their friends while I meet mine.

The proposed sites up Mingus would not be satisfactory. Not only is that site far from other parts of the city, and therefore dangerous for senior citizens, but also there are many snakes and wild animals like coyotes nearby that would threaten the lives of my small dogs.

We already police ourselves, helping one another pick up the poop, and encouraging our dogs to be more quiet. We would be happy to work with a sound barrier if that addresses the sound problem. As for odors, the dogpark is cleaner and smells better than the sides of most city streets.

I would like to thank those many citizens of the community who do not own dogs, but still recognize the
value our dogpark adds to life in and around Cottonwood.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: I think all of this is fascinating!

It's a perfect condensation and metaphor for so much going on in our world today. To what extent, if any, do those in government (and, in fact, all of us) value the needs and rights of every single individual? When any individual's rights or needs are devalued, how and why IS that, really? What's the rationale (read: excuse) used for doing so? I've seen so many of them expressed here, and flagrantly so, that chill me to the bone. What actually goes on in people's heads and hearts that allows them to look past the needs of the one, in favor of the needs of the many? As I write that I realize some might read this and say, "Well, duh, because the many ARE more important than just one person!"

Really??? Are you sure? If that's so, then how do you know that at some point in your life, you won't become that one person others see as devaluable? Judging by standards and measures of their own?

Yeah, yeah, I know, kinda off-topic here, but it merits consideration. Reading all this is an extremely upsetting glimpse into our future, especially if this trend toward seeing any one person's rights and needs as less important than another's snowballs like it feels it will!

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: NO BRAINER

Duh - The present location is not suitable.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Ann Rant

If you can't be a responsible dog owner if there is no dog park, perhaps you shouldn't be a dog owner. Don't move the park. Shut it down and give the woman her peace back!

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Simply move the park or do away with it altogether.

The right of privacy is cherished in America and that right should be inviolate.

The right to enjoy the peace and quiet of ones home without incessant, annoying, peace destroying noise is inviolate.

There are noise ordinances.

Why don't those of you who want a park create one in your own back yard on near YOUR homes?

Or, would that disrupt your tranquility and serenity, too?

Or, if the dog park stays ALL of YOU volunteer and police yourselves.

Set reasonable hours. Have a volunteer supervisor on site and report any and all violators of the park rules to the appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution of the park rules.

Or, would THAT disrupt YOUR enjoyment of the dog park, too. And require a genuine commitment from those of you who desire a dog park?

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Take your dogs to Thousand Trails and try to find someone to annoy.
Start a small business to transport people and dogs to the area and enjoy your mutts behavioral issues.
What a bonding experience HUH?
Kinda like a hot air balloon landing. Break out the Champagne and get the day off with a bang.

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Article comment by: Bad Gremlin

The park would be a prime location for illicit activity if a sound wall were to be erected.

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Article comment by: Sound wall won't do it either

The sound wall idea sounds like a band aid patch. Might help a little but will not solve the nuisance problems this park creates.

And the person who thinks the current location is ideal is flat out wrong. If the location negatively impacts people it is not ideal.

The city ought to be able find some place where it won't bother the neighbors. That ought to be their first and highest criterion.

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