Off-Leash Area Study
The city is considering developing dog off-leash areas at some parks. After nearly a year of reviewing off-leash practices of communities around the Northwest and throughout the country, staff completed a draft off-leash area study and presented a summary of it with recommendations to the Parks & Community Services Board. The Park Board endorsed the plan, but boardmembers expressed several issues.
In June 2009, staff presented the study to the City Council. The City Council took no action on the study, but several Councilmembers offered positions on recommendations in the report. Park Board and City Council comments
Key Study Recommendations:
- Level of service - There should be approximately one off-leash facility for every 30,000 residents. In addition to the one facility currently maintained by the city, three additional off-leash areas would be needed to meet this service level.
- Geographic distribution - A local off-leash area should be available within easy driving distance to most Bellevue residents. Facilities are therefore needed in the following areas:
- Criteria for locating off-leash areas - The city should seek sites that:
Are without established recreational uses.
Consider previous community-based planning processes.
Provide generous residential buffers.
Assure close-by parking.
Are compatible with other uses.
Complement visual park character.
Avoid sensitive environmental areas.
Consider transit/bus routes
The Off-Leash Area Study has not been adopted by City Council. Staff is working to address comments expressed by the Park Board and City Council prior to finalizing the report. Following the completion of the Eastgate Area Properties master planning process, staff will return to the Park Board and City Council with off-leash report updates.