DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

November 7, 2013

Dog park group gets closer to finding site

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Dogs in town may finally have a place to play.

The Londonderry Dog Park Study Committee is getting closer to finding a town-owned property to turn into a park, something the group has worked on for the past two years.

Committee member Scott Benson spoke to the Town Council Monday and said a piece of land off West Road now tops the list of potential sites.

“This is a good viable site,” he said.

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 one acre in size. It may be the only spot left that might work.

The dog park 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 for one reason or another.

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 issues related to having dogs playing there.

Now, West Road might be the right choice.

“I think it’s the best alternative that we have,” he said.

It would take money to get the land ready. Benson said no town money would be used; the group would raise money for the park through fundraising or through private donations.

The land would need to be graded and stone dust spread. Fencing would be installed around the park land.

Town councilors said more information from Public Works would be helpful as to what exactly the next step would be to create the park once some funding was in place.