The city may be one step closer to establishing a dog park after the Washington Youth Sports Association voluntarily relinquished its lease with the city on property on Simmonds Avenue — which may be the only available space where a permanent dog park could be located.
Dog owners currently can use Burger Park as a dog park, but the park is closed to dogs during soccer season.
Mike Stapp with the youth sports association attended the city council’s administration/operations committee meeting Monday. Stapp told the council that the little league is in favor of trying to establish ball fields elsewhere.
“Simmonds is not the best spot for ball fields. It never was, but it was the only spot available,” Stapp said. “We’re in favor of trying to move and not adverse to terminating the lease.”
The association had a multiyear lease on the land and has been raising funds to establish practice fields.
The parks department has been working with the little league for the past several months to determine other possible locations for practice fields.
The park board previously asked the city council to notify the league of a termination of the lease, which would have given the league a 185-day notice of the termination, but the council rejected the request because the city has been working with the association.
Park board members voted to again ask the council to consider terminating the lease to help expedite the dog park process.
The dog park group is requesting 1 to 2 acres of land, fencing, a water source and maintenance.
The group has said the park must have shade and parking and requested restrooms and seating, high visibility and an aesthetically desirable location to maximize usage.
The Simmonds area is 5 acres and has or could have many of the amenities requested by the dog park group if the city moves forward with establishing a year-round dog park.
The lease termination will be voted on by the full city council at a later meeting.