Manassas Journal Messenger | Supervisors consider dog park plan tonight

Tonight Prince William County?s Park Authority is going to present how it thinks dog parks could operate in the county.

It needs a group of dog park supporters who could ensure regular dog cleanup and raise money to buy fences, said Debbie Andrew, acting Park Authority director.

In order for the Park Authority to move ahead on its dog park plan, the supervisors must amend a law prohibiting dogs from going leashless.

That proposed amendment is on tonight?s 7:30 p.m. public hearing agenda.

The amendment would allow pet owners to keep dogs ?off-leash within the confines of any dog park designated by the Prince William County Park Authority.?

No specific parks have been identified for a future dog park, said Andrew, who added that some dog park supporters might have their own ideas of where it should be.

A group of dog park supporters have adopted a stewardship stance toward the proposed parks, hoping to collect money for fences if the law is changed, said Andrew.

?I don?t have a major problem with this as long as the users would get together and pay for developing the facility,? said Supervisor Chairman Sean T. Connaughton, R-At Large.

He added that the county would have no legal liabilities if someone there were bitten by a dog at a county-owned dog park.

Andrew said Arlington County and the City of Alexandria suggested placing clean up responsibilities on the people who use the park most frequently in order to create a sense of ownership.

Those who have signed up to the dog park supporter group are mostly from the western side of Prince William County and have offered to self-police the park and make sure dogs behave with each other, Andrew said.

An operating agreement would enforce the group?s obligations before the park opens, according to a county staff report.

Park Authority staff responsibilities would be limited to normal maintenance, such as mowing grass and emptying trash cans.

The Park Authority could close the park if it determines that the dog park wasn?t being maintained according to the agreement.

The Prince William County supervisors meet today at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the McCoart Administration building at One County Complex Court, just off Prince William Parkway.

The following items are those that the supervisors are to consider at the 7:30 p.m. public hearings:

? Amend county dog leash law to allow dogs to run off leashes in specified dog parks.

? Special use permit to allow New Life Anointed Ministries to build a church and women?s shelter on a 27-acre site at Minnieville Road and Bluefin Drive in the Neabsco District.

? Special use permit to allow live entertainment and dancing at La Perla Restaurant in Ashdale Shopping Center in the Neabsco District.

? Special use permit to allow a Safeway gas station at Braemar Shopping Center at Linton Hall Road and Sudley Manor Drive in the Brentsville District.

? Special use permit to allow a Bank of America drive-through facility at the Braemar Village Center at Linton Hall Road and Sudley Manor Drive.

? Rezone two acres of the Fannon property at Progress Court and Wellington Road to allow industrial/transportation uses. The site is currently zoned heavy industrial.

? Special use permit for the Fannon property to allow fuel and hazardous materials storage at Progress Court and Wellington Road.

Staff writer Lillian Kafka can be reached at (703) 878-8091.

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