Fido may get new waterfront space to frolic

Kelowna dog owners who have been pining for a second waterfront dog park could soon see their pooch-oriented-prayers answered.

Kelowna dog owners who have been pining for a second waterfront dog park could soon see their pooch-oriented-prayers answered.

In response to long-time dog-park advocate Coun. Charlie Hodge’s prodding, the city’s parks manager announced there are some “promising leads” in the pursuit of dog water parks, although the issue is “complex.”

“This year there is a project on the books to demolish one of the old houses (on) a potential site off Poplar Point,” said Ian Wilson. “We do want to do some neighbourhood engagement before we go there.”

Waterfront dog parks have long been a hot button issue in Kelowna, as the only place for dogs to access the lake without contravening bylaws is near a nudist beach, by Cedar Creek.

That community shortcoming for woman’s best friend has prompted public outcry in the form of petitions and in 2011 there was even a community march aimed at convincing politicians to institute a new dog park.

Despite all that, there’s been no real action, other than further study of the issue.

It’s a situation that previous councillors have pointed out prompts dog owners to merely take their dogs to the waterfront in contravention of bylaws.

As that issue continues to be worked out,  Wilson announced some more good news for dog owners who had previously found themselves breaking bylaws.

Council unanimously approved the addition of 13 city parks to the list of public parks where dogs are permitted on a leash, meaning 76 per cent of  Kelowna’s city parks, will be dog-friendly.

Of note, was a cemetery property.

“We have noticed there are people in the neighbourhood who do like to walk their dog on the roadway,” said Wilson, noting that those who use the path are respectful and haven’t caused issues.

“We thought we may as well legalize that.”

Parks that now allow for on-leash dog walking include:

  • Bella Vista Park
  • Bellevue Creek Greenway
  • Crawford multi-use court property
  • DeHart Park
  • Eagle View Trail
  • Gallagher Community Park
  • Gopher Creek Park (additional properties added)
  • Mountainside Park
  • Ponds Community Park
  • Stockley Open Space
  • Surtees property
  • Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery