Dog Park Committee to Consider Sites Outside Southwest

The committee also finalized criteria for judging dog park sites.

The 6th District Dog Park Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) decided to allow more sites to be considered Monday, even some outside the boundaries of Southwest Minneapolis proper.

The committee, which started in late March to advise the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) on a Southwest Minneapolis dog park, also completed the criteria for judging dog park sites (see PDF) and finalized the process for proposing new sites for consideration.

Proposals for new sites can be submitted though May 13 by emailing MPRB planner Jennifer Ringold. The CAC will begin choosing the sites that will be considered at their next meeting on May 16.  

Originally the CAC was charged with looking at three potential sites, but they have since requested permission from the park board to look at additional locations. At the last meeting, the CAC eliminated two of the sites in Lyndale Park that they were initially charged with assessing.

The CAC agreed to allow proposals of new sites by just one person. However, CAC members will be able choose which sites to consider.

Committee members differed on whether newly proposed sites would be presented as a list at the next meeting, sent out to the CAC members via email or posted on the online forum for the CAC. Some CAC members didn’t like the idea of community-proposed sites being posted in a public forum before the CAC had a chance to vet them because controversial sites might lead to a public backlash.

“People are going to have an issue no matter what we do,” committee member Lisa McDonald said. McDonald was in favor of posting the nominations on the site.

Brook Lemm-Tabor, the representative from the Kingfield Neighborhood Association, suggested that Jennifer Ringold, who will be receiving the nominations via email, post the sites that she believes are not controversial onto the forum site. It would be up to Ringold’s “discretion what to post,” suggested Lemm-Tabor. Ringold would then present any controversial sites at the committee meeting.  

After much back and forth, Lemm-Tabor’s compromise was accepted. The CAC also made clear that the two Lyndale park sites that have already been eliminated, as well as the Martin Luther King Park site, would not be considered.  

Committee members also debated whether to request that the park board allow the CAC to look at sites outside of the designated service area. Committee member Matt Perry suggested that the CAC request the park board expand the service area to the Central, Bryant, Regina and Field neighborhoods, which have representation on the CAC.  

Tom Nordyke, chair of the committee, said that the problem with expanding the service area is that the CAC would then be trying to create something as opposed to advising. The CAC decided to accept nominations of sites outside the service area in the neighborhoods of Regina, Bryant, Field and Central. It will request that the park board allow the CAC to look at those sites as well.

If you are interested in submitting a site for the CAC to consider, email jringold@minneapolisparks.org.  


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