More than 70 people attended the Northbrook Park District's presentation Wednesday night on possible designs for a proposed dog park at Coast Guard Park. No final decisions were made during the first public input meeting, but residents cast votes for possible park designs and possible amenities that could be installed once the new park is complete next year.
Four park concepts were introduced, all of which featured parking for 50 to 60 cars accessed from the driveway leading to Underwriters Laboratories, designated areas for small and big dogs, water fountains and bags for animal waste. Also, the Blue Star veteran memorial would remain at the park.
Community members can still vote for park designs and propose suggestions to the park district by emailing email@example.com.
Concept A .44 acres for small dogs, 1.37 acres for large dogs, a combined entrances for all dogs, a shared shelter, a walking path outside the fenced dog areas, space for a dog washing station and room for a children's playground.
Concept B .72 acres for small dogs, 1.95 acres for large dogs, separate entrances for small and large dogs, and space for a dog wash.
Concept C .49 acres for small dogs, 1.84 acres for large dogs, a combined entrance for all dogs, a shared shelter, space for an all-dog agility course and an all-dog playground.
Concept D .55 acres for small dogs, 2.20 acres for large dogs, a combined entrance for all dogs, a shared shelter, space for a dog wash and a fenced-in dog walking trail.
After voting was finished, Concept D appeared the initial favorite with 36 votes. Concept A earned 27 votes, while the other two only earned a handful of votes each. Attendees also had the chance to vote in favor or opposed to specific amenities which could be installed at the park, with a significant number of people voting against the installation of a children's playground on or near the dog park.
There was no formal discussion of fees or rules at the proposed dog park, but officials hinted at keeping it open from dawn to dusk with no artificial lighting, non-resident entree fees for people outside of Northbrook and no access for small children.
Officials said they picked Coast Guard park because it was the most underused park in the district. Park district officials said they decided to build a dog park in response to growing public interest.
Based on a projected timeline, public input on the proposed park will be applied to a master plan, which will be presented to the public again. Then the plan will be sent to the National Parks Service for approval, probably in the winter of 2013.
The Village Board would need to approve it after the NPS, at which point the Park District would begin taking bids for the construction, with an anticipated construction start date in spring of 2013 and an opening by autumn of next year.
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