Though plans for a private dog park in Port Washington's industrial sector were met with overwhelming support and approval at Thursday night's Plan Commission meeting, the owners have a few hurdles to jump before launching the play space.
Ellen and Bob Paulus of Paulus Printing are working to launch "Lucky Dog Park," in the extra space near their business, 1270 Mineral Springs Dr., but the location requires special zoning permits that call for a series of ordinance revisions and a public hearing, according to City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven.
Despite the more than month-long timeline that process involves, commission members were excited by the idea.
"This has been an item that’s been brought up from time to time over the last several years," Ald. Dan Becker told Patch on Friday. "My only concern has always been, especially in this tight economy and the tough budgets that we're dealing with on a state county and local level — finding money (to do this)."
Becker said he's happy to see a private sector solution come forward, similar to when the city decided to drop it's taxi service and an indiviual launched Hometown Taxi on his own.
"I think that’s great, that they’re taking that upon themselves. And I think it’s a great location," he said, adding that the industrial location eliminates concerns about neighbors complaining of barking or other issues, and also that the space provides ample parking.
The Paulus' dog park idea came to light after an informal conversation started at the city level by Mayor Tom Mlada about looking into adding a city dog park; Becker said in his opinion he doesn't think it's necessary to pursue that option at this time, with Lucky Dog Park filling that need.
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.
The Common Council will have a first reading of the ordinance change to allow the park in the industrial location at its March 19 meeting; after that, a public hearing would be held at its April 9 meeting to approve the ordinance, and a conditional use permit will need to be approved for the Pauluses specifically at the next meeting.
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