Private Dog Park Plans Trotting Along
The Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday night introduced an ordinance to allow dog parks in the district where a private park has been proposed — but the ordinance is also forward-thinking for a public park.
Plans for a private dog park to open in Port Washington are moving along as the council on Tuesday night introduced a conditional use permit the owners need to convert the space for canine use.
The conditional use permit bypasses zoning issues because the proposed park at Paulus Printing, 1270 Mineral Springs Dr., is in an industrial district. The permit, however, is also forward thinking — it allows for dog parks to also be launched in agricultural districts as well as public and utility land districts.
City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said the addition of these zones is with a public dog park in mind. City officials in January had considered several locations in public and utility land districts in the city to see whether a dog park was viable; that was before the Paulus' came forward with their plans.
"Right now the city has no resources to invest in a dog park," he said. "If comes that day, and the resources are available (for a public park) we thought that those lands should be approved for consideration."
The space where the Pauluses plan to launch the park is just over an acre in size. Dog owner's interested in coming with their pets would have to provide certain information to become a member, such as proof of vaccinations, as well as pay a fee.
"This isn't necessarily a solution that is all things to all people," Mayor Tom Mlada said of the private park. "This is a solution to those who want controlled, well-maintained (areas for their dogs)."
The introduction of the permit on Tuesday night was a first reading; a public hearing will need to be held at the council's April 9 meeting to approve the ordinance, and a permit for the Pauluses specifically would be approved at the meeting after that.
Council meetings take place at 7:30 p.m. at Port Washington City Hall.