SPOKANE, Wash. — The city of Spokane, the school district and a park community board seem to have come to a compromise on plans for a South Hill dog park.
The city and school district revised a bond to restructure the park instead of closing it.
On August 1, the city held a joint meeting with the school district that authorized the bond to go on the November ballot. That initial bond included plans to close the dog park and use the land for a new middle school.
But people who use the park every day thought the original bond was unacceptable.
Kevin Quigley is a dog owner who has been coming to the park for three years.
He is one of many park users who signed a petition to keep the city and school district from closing the park.
“It’d be really sad to see this place go,” he said.
One woman said she uses the park four to five times a week and would consider leaving Spokane if the park closed.
So park users created a petition, hoping to express how important the area is to them and their pets.
“I don’t know where else I’d go,” Quigley said. “I live in just a little apartment, and I thought about moving, but whenever it comes time to renew my lease, I always have to think of this place.”
About a month and a half after the initial meeting, the city met with the park’s community board and discussed the petition.
And it seems they have come to a compromise.
The new plan puts the middle school and the dog park next to each other and restructures the park, instead of closing it.
Marlene Feist with the city of Spokane said the current walking path would be in more of a loop, and there would also be more trees along the path.
Many people responded to the petition and said they are content with compromise.
“Ideally, for me, I’d like to see the park kept exactly how it is, but I understand that’s not really realistic, so as long as something’s kept here,” Quigley said.
“If this is the number one choice for the school district, for the new middle school, then that should take priority, as long as they substitute another area and a good area for the dogs,” said Bernie O’Brien, who uses the park often.
The city first has to officially approve the bond before it can make the November ballot. If the bond passes, the city said there would still be about three or four years before the park sees any significant changes.