Harper’s Choice Community Split Over Proposed Dog Park

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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)—There’s backlash over a proposed dog park in Columbia.

Monique Griego has more from neighbors in Harper’s Choice, who are split on the issue.

When some neighbors learned the Columbia Association wanted to turn a grass lot near the Columbia Sports Park into a dog park, “my first impression was, oh great, more traffic,” said Jim Greco.

Greco, who lives near the lot off Rivendell and Cedar Lane in Harper’s Choice, says other parks and sporting fields already create a traffic and parking nightmare in the area.

Another issue Greco says is that the community is already using the space.

“All of the kids in this neighborhood use the park for playing pickup games and softball in the summertime,” Greco said.

Columbia Association initiated plans for the dog park this summer.

Spokesperson David Greisman says right now there’s only one dog park in Howard County, and it’s in Ellicott City.

“There is more demand for more dog parks for more accessibility,” Greisman said.

Residents did take their concerns to Harper’s Choice Village Board of Directors. And the village manager told WJZ they’re asking the Columbia Association to come back with a plan that addresses residents concerns before moving forward with the park.

Greisman says the association already has an alternative parking lot that will be used for the dog park.

“What we’re trying to be is a new exciting amenity to west Columbia but also trying to minimize any negative potential consequences for the community,” he said.

“I feel very positive about it,” said dog owner Sherrie Nolan.

Nolan says a dog park is long overdue and believes it will only enhance what the community has to offer.

“I think anything they can do to accommodate the residents’ needs and wants is a good idea,” she said.

If and when the dog park is up and running the Columbia Association will be responsible for its upkeep.

The Columbia Association is looking into making the park smaller but says it will present its final plans to the board in December.

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