, Derry, New Hampshire

January 31, 2013

Londonderry dog park search still on

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The search continues for a perfect spot for the town’s dogs to play.

The Londonderry dog park study committee continues its quest to find a piece of land suitable for a dog park.

Committee member Scott Benson said the process was moving at a “slow pace and frustrating” when he spoke to town councilors earlier this month about the park’s progress.

He said the group looked at several parcels of land to see what might be the best fit for the town’s more than 4,000 dogs who may want to roam there.

Previous properties under consideration fell off the short list.

Last September, the committee agreed to pursue a former town-owned salvage site on Sanborn Road, but that plan fell through when 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. Benson said that land is not the best option.

A piece of conservation land off South Road was then deemed a good choice, but now committee chairman Dottie Grover is not so sure that spot would fly with town officials and residents living near the site.

The dog park would only take up about a half-acre of the total 63 acres, but many residents spoke out against a dog park there, citing animal waste issues, traffic and noise.

Bryan Larson of 104 South Road said having a dog park at that location takes away from the premise that conservation land should remain open for people to enjoy.

Grover said the response from Conservation Commission officials was “lukewarm” at best.

“They prefer we look elsewhere,” she said.

Grover said the committee still has a list of possible properties where a dog park could be located, preferably somewhere that suits both neighbors and dog owners.

The dog park study group meets the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Londonderry Access Center on Mammoth Road.

Grover said all are invited to attend and give their input.