Washington City approves purchase of land for potential dog park expansion

ST. GEORGE — One on Washington City’s more popular parks could see eventual expansion with the approval of a purchase agreement by city officials last week.

People and pups at the Dog Town Dog Park in Washington City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Washington City, St. George News

During the Nov. 13 meeting, the Washington City Council approved an agreement to buy a 1.68-acre piece of land adjacent to the Dog Town Dog Park at 450 S. 200 East.

“This is something that just came up and was a great opportunity for us,” City Manager Roger Carter told the council.

Carter told St. George News that the city had been looked for other areas to place an additional dog park, but when the offer to buy the land next to the existing park presented itself, the city jumped on it. The City Council approved the purchase of the property for $285,000, and Carter said the city is currently in the process of closing on the property.

Dog Town is the city’s only dog park and a very popular one at that, he said.

“By square footage, (Dog Town) is the most popular park used in Washington City several times over,” he said.

City Councilman Troy Belliston said it made sense to purchase the land for eventual expansion due to how much use it gets.

“It gets a lot more use than originally envisioned,” he said.

The park has a very faithful user base among the area’s dog-owning community, Carter said. They use the park on a regular basis and help take care of it, he said, adding that the dog owners are self-regulating in that regard as well.

“Our dog community is a really good one,” Carter said.

The lot marked “Exhibit” is the future site of a potential expansion for the Dog Town Dog Park in Washington City, Utah. | Image courtesy of Washington City, St. George News

There’s also a group of dog owners from Hurricane that regularly uses the park and have thanked the city for it, Carter added.

Hurricane does have a dog park that is open for limited used, according to the city’s website.

The fenced park currently offers an off-leash area that is split between small and large dogs – those below 25 pounds and those above that. It also includes a water feature the dogs can play in. Human-centric amenities include restrooms, a pavilion, benches, picnic area and children’s playground.

When the park is eventually expanded, Carter said it will include an expansion of the parking lot, as well as larger areas where the small and large dogs can play and run.

The area set for the bigger dogs may be landscaped with something other than grass, Carter said, as they tend to “tear up the ground” as they run around.

As the potential dog park expansion isn’t on the city’s current list of capital projects, its creation won’t be funded by impact fees. Rather, funding will come out of the general fund as available. RAP tax funding could also be applied by the council at some future date.

Both Carter and Belliston reiterated that there are presently no immediate plans to expand the dog park. For now, the city is buying the additional land in order to “bank it” for future use.

Given the popularity of the dog park, however, expansion could come sooner than later, Carter said.

Ed. note: It was reported in error that Hurricane did not have its own dog park. This has been corrected. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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