DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 13, 2014

Londonderry dog park plan moving forward

Committee may be close to finding park site

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Resident dogs are getting closer to having their own place to play.

Town Manager Kevin Smith gave an update on the status of the proposed dog park, saying the plan is moving forward.

The Londonderry Dog Park Study Committee has worked for the past two years to find a town-owned property to turn into a park for the more than 4,000 resident dogs.

After several potential locations fell through, a piece of land off West Road now tops the list for the best site.

The land is near soccer fields, but is not being used for any type of play right now. There are only four abutters and it’s less than an acre in size. It may be the only spot left that might work.

Last year, the committee agreed to pursue a former town-owned salvage site on Sanborn Road, but that plan fell through when it was learned the Elder Affairs Committee had already laid claim to the property for future senior housing.

Another property on Auburn Road also was mentioned as a possible park site. The land, now a federal Superfund site, was once a town dump.

A piece of conservation land off South Road was then deemed a good choice, but many residents voiced opinions to the contrary, citing barking, waste and other negative issues related to having dogs playing there.

Smith said the town is studying any liability issues that a dog park might have.

“We will work with the dog park committee to get that information,” he said.

The Conservation Commission has no issues with that location being a park.

Smith said the committee and park plan seem to be getting closer to a final outcome.

“So far, they appear to be moving in the right direction, and to start collecting donations for this,” he said.

Park committee members have said on prior occasions that no town money would be used to support the dog park. Money would be raised through fundraising and private donations.

Volunteers will pitch in when needed. The land would need to be graded and stone dust spread. Fencing would be installed around the park land.

The Dog Park Study Committee was scheduled to meet this week.