Dorval, Que., dog owners are claiming victory as the city has revised its decision on the proposed fenced-in dog park situated inside the Surrey Park green space.
After meeting with a citizens committee city officials say they have made a compromise.
Starting in the fall construction will begin on a newly proposed dog park that would encircle the entire Surrey dog run area.
“It’s wonderful news I’m so happy they changed their minds,” Francie Lavoie said while walking her German Shepard, T-Rex.
“We signed petitions to this effect and low and behold it worked so we’re pleased.”
The newly proposed space would have fences surrounding the wooded area behind the Surrey Aquatic and Community Centre and would roughly measure 35,000 square meters or eight acres.
“We listened to our citizens and we came up with this plan that will make everybody happy,” city spokesperson Sébeastien Gauthier said.
Local residents and dog owners who petitioned for change see this reversal as a win.
“This is a big victory. The people have won over the establishment,” Dorval resident and dog owner Michelle Bienvenu said.
In May the city announced it was going to build a designated enclosed area that would measure 240 metres by 60 metres and would allow owners to let their dogs run free off-leash in the wooded space.
Hundreds signed a petition against the proposed $46,000 development project, claiming the space was not sufficient for the popular dog-walking spot.
“The proposal that they gave was not enough the dogs need room to run especially when there is a lot of them,” Bienvenu said. “The more room the less confrontation. Over all we won.”
Despite their victory, residents say they still have a bone to pick with the city, as no consultations were held in the planning of the future park.
It was only after residents voiced their opposition towards the project that the city opened dialogue with residents.
“To come in and say we’re going to do this and not consult — I think they understood now,” Bienvenu said.
When pressed on why residents were left out of the original discussions, Gauthier did not have an answer, but in the past, the city said complaints from local residents concerning dogs being off-leash was the main reason for the implementation of the fenced-in area.
In the end, Gauthier said, everyone got what they wanted — a safe place for people to walk and for dogs to run.
“It’s a place where people can let their dogs run freely without having people afraid of being approached by dogs,” Gauthier said.