Dogs will be permitted in a Plymouth Township park for the first time in recent memory, but with a catch that will prohibit playing fetch.
The Township Board of Directors voted 5-2 (Trustees Chuck Curmi and Mark Clinton cast dissenting votes) on April 27 to officially declare a triangular section of property near the intersection of Ann Arbor Trail and Beck Road ” Plymouth Township Golfview Neighborhood Park, âa designation that will allow state and federal grants to be spent on the area to improve landscaping and fixtures, and potentially secure green space against future residential or commercial development.
The name of the park is subject to change, Township Supervisor Kurt Heise noted, possibly through a community-wide naming contest.
Immediately after the vote, an addendum was approved, 4-3 (Curmi, Clinton and Trustee Bob Doroshowitz cast dissenting votes), which will allow leashed dogs to visit Golfview Park with their owners.
A long-standing parks and playgrounds ordinance prohibits dogs from being brought into township parks, with violators liable to be deported and / or prosecuted.
The dog-friendly addendum is part of a three-month pilot program, said Heise, which can be changed, stopped or extended at any time until its September 1 expiration date.
The rules of the addendum require that dogs must be kept on a leash no more than 10 feet in length at all times; dog feces must be collected and disposed of by the dog walker, who is responsible for the dog’s behavior and behavior; and dogs should stay away from other dogs and people they are unfamiliar with.
âIt’s not carved in stone,â Heise said. “It’s a test study.”
While the addition of the park is a step towards the township’s goal of increasing walking and connectivity in the township and town of Plymouth, it actually adds restrictions for dog owners, who before last week were allowed to release their dog on the property and play. recovery or other recovery activities.
Curmi said he preferred to leave the property as a “free” space where dog owners could bring their pets for a fetch party or just to let the dogs roam free.
âThese restrictions – forcing dogs to stay on a leash – is why I don’t like this idea,â Curmi said.
Clinton said the township is already understaffed to maintain its existing parks, especially near Plymouth Township Park, which is just northeast of Golfview.
Clinton and Curmi both asked how the dog leash and waste rules would be enforced.
Heise, who pioneered the idea of ââmaking the land a park, said he’s confident managers at the nearby Hilltop golf course will have no objection to continuing to mow the grass in the park as they do. have done in recent years.
Doroshewitz pointed out that when the triangular property was a free range area, people still took their dogs to Plymouth Township Park.
“Designating it as a park and saying you can take dogs there, so people don’t take their dogs to Plymouth Township park anymore … I’m not against, I just don’t think that it’s going to solve the dog problem in Plymouth Township Park, âDoroshewitz said.
Township Parks Foreman Brent McMullen, who has said he supports the dog portion of Golfview Park, said the number of dogs brought into the Plymouth Township park is minimal.
âMaybe once a week,â McMullen said. “In summer, maybe a little more.”
Curmi abruptly countered McMullen’s point.
“How come a park foreman wrote an email saying, ‘Hope we do this because I can’t enforce it now and it would be easier to allow dogs so you don’t have to harass people, âCurmi said. “I got an email – we all got it – several weeks ago. So it must be more than once a week if it’s creating that much of a hassle.”
âSomeone from the park staff is going to have to go over there and occasionally pick up the leftover garbage,â Doroshewitz noted. “I do not do it.”
A township resident who lives across from Golfview said during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting that he regularly observed dog owners throwing balls for their pets to fetch and retrieve.
“This will now be limited with the new leash rule,” noted Curmi.
Along with dog-related items like dog containers and mittens, the park will remain free from props like benches, statues and trails, at least in the short term, Heise said.
In 2020, the township planted many trees on the plot and improves pedestrian access to the site.
Contact reporter Ed Wright at [email protected] or 517-375-1113.