Anger is overflowing in parts of Jeremy Ranch. A field that many neighbors use to play soccer with their kids, let their kids run loose, and from all accounts, a good use of open space, has been converted into a small dog run. Residents are voicing concern, such as “It is a dog park and I cannot understand why they took the field away to do it! We used that field all the time. I wish they would have asked the neighborhood for input. Bummer! And I own a dog!” Another said, “I emailed a person at Basin Rec. I really feel they should have asked for neighborhood input prior to doing this. We play kickball and soccer on the field.”
The response posted from Basin Rec was “I can provide you a little back ground as to why we put the park in there. Through our community surveys and needs and wants assessments off leash dog areas were an item that we were lacking according to both reports. And with the county starting to put more emphasis on having dogs leashed in public areas we felt the need to provide areas where the community could legally have their dogs off leash. So our goal is to provide an off leash area in every community park to accommodate park users that bring and like dogs and park users that want to avoid dogs but still use our services. We understand that it is a change from what you have had up there but hopefully the community is able to embrace it. Please let me know if you have any other questions.” –Brian Hanton, CPRP, CYSA Recreation and Park Manager
Basically … we have orders to put in small dog parks and we did it there. We hope you’re OK with it but if not…oh well.
It highlights an issue we’ve never considered before with Basin Rec and open space. We always thought of open space as these wide open swaths of land. However, what if the open space they are buying are smaller parcels and then convert them into whatever they want? Perhaps they buy a couple of lots next to your house and build a trailhead with parking. The county needs more trailheads with parking and they hope you are OK with it. If not, sorry. What if they buy land behind your house and convert it to a dog park. There’s nothing like being woken and going to bed with the sounds of dogs.
Basin Rec has done many good things for our community. Many of us use their trails, parking lots, and facilities every day. However, this highlights the other side of the coin. At what point do they start doing things that aggravate the population. Perhaps it’s not enough for them to tell us they are going to spend $15 million of the upcoming bond on “open space”. Now we have to question what that really means too. The devil’s unfortunately in the details.
While open space always sounds good, it appears that sometimes reality doesn’t meet expectations.
As always, we don’t want to tell you how to vote on the upcoming recreation bond; however, its becoming apparent that we can’t put blind trust even in some of the things that have worked out well for us in the last decade. You may end up wishing the $25 million dollar Basin Rec bond wasn’t passed when the “open space” ends up right next to you and you have little warning and even less say … or you may love what they do with the money. Unfortunately it appears both outcomes must at least now be considered.