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Proposal for South Jeffco dog park is put on hold

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By Ramsey Scott

Plans for a dog park in South Jeffco have been put on hold. 

The project was to be a joint venture between the Foothills Park and Recreation District and the Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District. But Foothills Executive Director Ron Hopp said he had heard very negative feedback about the proposal. 

One design had the dog park being built near the parking lot of Sledding Hill, at West Ken Caryl Avenue and South Kipling Parkway.  

“There seemed to be a majority of support at the initial meeting (on Feb. 12). But I’ve been a part of other public presentations since then, and the feedback was overwhelmingly negative,” Hopp said. 

Hopp said he heard negative feedback when he spoke at the Council of Homeowner Organizations for a Planned Environment on March 5. 

“The problem is, most people think it’s a really good idea, but nobody wants it near their house,” Hopp said. “There seemed to be aequal support on both sides of the issue. But, having said that, we have a divided community on the issue, which led us to take a pause.”

Hopp said the project, estimated to cost $150,000, also lacks a funding source. The two districts had been hoping that residents would lead fund-raising efforts.

“We have other priorities right now. We’ve just finished the big master plan for Clement Park that has a big price tag, and we have a possible special election (for a tax increase) in November, so we felt that it might become a distraction,” Hopp said. “We really look forward to working with Ken-Caryl on other projects in the future.” 

Hopp said that if a group of residents approached the district with a location and possible funding, Foothills could come back to the project. 

Darrell Windes, district manager for Ken-Caryl, said the Ken-Caryl board had yet to meet since Foothills decided to take a step back from the dog park plan. 

“I’m sure they’ll be disappointed,” Windes said. “This looked like an excellent opportunity to create a resource for the community and to work with Foothills.”

Despite the disappointment, Windes said he understood Foothills’ actions, given public input.

Ken-Caryl’s board is open to working with Foothills in the future and might try to locate a dog park in its own district, Windes said.