Neighbors near Underhill Park oppose city’s new dog park guidelines

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Parks Department has new guidelines to add dog parks in the city. Officials are asking for public feedback on proposed plans at a series of open houses.

“Unfortunately, all three locations don’t seem to meet the needs of dog park users,” said Justin Botejue, who lives near Underhill Park.

After Monday’s open house with city officials, Botejue says he’s not satisfied with the new dog park plan, particularly with a site in Underhill Park.

Botejue says building a dog park in Underhill Park is not the best option. He says it’s because the park already holds many different activities, from cricket to little league.

“What the parks department is proposing is taking that away essentially,” Botejue said. “One of the very few sites in the East Central neighborhood, kids in our neighborhood can experience outdoors with the existing natural area.”

Another neighbor says limited parking space at the park is already a hassle.

“During the middle of when there are multiple events going on down in this park, the parking lot is full. People have to back down and down clear to the intersection,” said Sam Mace, who lives near Underhill Park.

However, city officials say the process is not close to being done.

“No decision hasn’t been made yet,” said Garrett Jones, Director of Parks and Recreation at the City of Spokane. “We are going to take those dots. We are going to take those comment cards. That is a part of the process.”

The public process will continue, even after the board members’ final decision.

“Once the site is selected, the next process goes into what design characteristics. Maybe we shrink one location, a little bit more fit,” Jones said.

The public still has three more open houses in Southgate, Lincoln Heights, and East Central to give feedback. The city’s board members will determine final locations in two weeks– October 24th.

• Wednesday, October 12, 7 p.m. – Southgate Neighborhood Council (Hazel’s Creek). The meeting will be held at ESD 101 in the Talbott Event Center.
• Tuesday, October 18, 6 p.m. – Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council (Lincoln Park). This meeting is virtual only, and the Zoom link will be posted on the Lincoln Heights website.
• Wednesday, October 19, 6 p.m. – East Central Neighborhood (Underhill Park). The meeting will be held at Liberty Park Library event room.

City officials say those unable to attend can send feedback to or Parks & Recreation, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201.

READ: ‘We are way behind’: City of Spokane wants to build more dog parks across the city

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