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Second dog park meeting yields consensus on revised plan


Based on a show of hands, there was unanimous agreement at a recent Sun City West meeting for the latest architectural rendering for renovation of the community’s large dog park.

An earlier rendering, which would have moved the existing large dog park to an adjacent area, proved unpopular as users felt the new space was smaller than existing space. New plans call for a renovation of the existing large dog park, plus the addition of a smaller park that has multiple benefits, most important being that it will be more accessible for those large-dog owners who have trouble reaching the existing park. The current large-dog park is behind the tennis courts and is a long walk for residents who have mobility limitations. All of the proposed parks are in the same area near the tennis courts on R.H. Johnson Rec Center’s lower campus.

Although turnout was light at the meeting, those in attendance were happy with plans to add the satellite park and renovate the existing park to address concerns such as drainage, more turf and better lighting. Along with being more accessible, the satellite park can be used when the other small or large parks are closed to rest or reseed the turf.

Because of the light turnout, an additional meeting will be scheduled in the future to share the updated plans with anyone who was unable to attend or was unaware of Friday’s meeting.

Renovations to the existing dog park – including new turf, eight new benches, four new shade structures, draining system, perimeter sidewalk, walls and fencing – is estimated at $213,000. Adding the smaller satellite large-dog park – including turf, walls and fencing, grading, drainage, six benches and three shade canopies – is estimated at $238,000.

These projects are separate from plans to renovate the existing small dog park by adding an additional 7,512 square feet, new pet bag dispensers, a perimeter walk, new block wall with fence, dog drinking fountain, 10×20 canopy, three benches and new entry gates. That project is budgeted at $134,000.
These projects have not been approved yet. The small dog park renovations are proposed in the 2018-19 fiscal year plan, which is working its way through Board committees and public hearings and will be brought to the Governing Board for a vote in May. The large dog park renovations will be scheduled in the FY19-20 budget.

The community is invited to budget forums where the entire FY18-19 fiscal year plan will be discussed:
• 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Palm Ridge’s Summit Hall B, 13800 Deer Valley Drive, Sun City West
• 1 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the R.H. Johnson Lecture Hall, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd.
• 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, in the Lecture Hall.

  1. Doug Keeler says:

    I agree with the message that the existing park is the proper size with needed upgrades. Please work on a way to keep the small crushed granite clear from the cement walkways. A suggestion was strips of artificial turf on the sides of the walkway where crushed granite is nearby. Also key card entry will limit usage to authorized users. This will help prevent theft. Keep small dog vision of large dogs limited to prevent constant barking when passing near by.

  2. Dale Biscardi says:

    It’s great to hear about these changes. We recently moved to SCW from Illinois. We have a Chocolate Lab who loves to play fetch. In Illinois we had a large grass back yard where she could play. We were excited to know that SCW had a large dog park but we’re disappointed on our 1st visit to it. There’s only a small patch of grass, much to small for large dogs get their run on. Our dog ended up ripping up her paw pads due to the hard scaping, and now we are hesitant to take her there. It might be to late for this, but whoever is planning this, please make sure there is plenty of natural grass. Because just like football players tape their elbows when playing on artificial turf, artificial tuff causes rugburn injuries to a dogs pads too. Thank you, and we are looking forward to the next meeting.

  3. Dudley Gibson says:

    I could not attend the meeting but the Satellite area is a good idea from an accessibility standpoint and use of available space that has no other good use! As a frequent user of the small Park I am not in favor of the concrete perimeter walkways! They will have to be washed regularly which presents problems. I would use concrete walkways only from the gates to the first shade structure. Concrete pads for the shade structures is a good idea. Decomposed granite would be a better surface material for all non grassy areas!

  4. Christine Hedberg says:

    Great presentation. How nice to see the RCSCW respond to our concerns as dog owners. We await the improved facilities with high hopes.

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