Y-S dog park closer to reality
October 9, 2005
Q: I am new in the area and have been trying to find your local dog park. Could you please advise me as to where it is? I moved from Roseville and they have five there.
A: That's five more than Yuba-Sutter has right now. But Yuba City may have a dog park by next spring, where canines can run without a leash.
A group of about 100 people, headed by Robert Sims of Yuba City, hopes to open the Off The Leash Dog Park on five acres of Caltrans-owned land on the west side of Wild River Drive between Bogue and Shanghai Bend roads, just west of the Feather River levee.
The same group tried unsuccessfully to open a dog park in Marysville's Beckwourth Riverfront Park.
Sims said he is working with Caltrans on a 20-year lease for the land, which is set aside for a third bridge over the Feather River.
Sims said Caltrans and the City of Yuba City are supporting the project. Caltrans spokeswoman Shelly Chernicki and Gary Marler, the city's parks manager, confirmed the support.
If the bridge is ever built, the lease would be nullified, said Chernicki.
Sims said his group needs to raise at least $15,000 for the project.
A fundraising ”Pawsta Feed“ will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Yuba City Masonic Temple, 501 Second St. Tickets for adults and children cost $10 and are available by calling 635-1288 or 635-1289. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event.
Area veterinarians and pet stores are supporting the project, he said.
The five acres will be fenced and divided into 1.5 acres for small dogs and 3.5 acres for large dogs, according to Sims. The park will be open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Admission will be free, and users will not have to be Off The Leash members.
Sims called it a ”privately-run public park.“
Plans call for a water supply and possibly a small pool for dogs, said Sims.
Off The Lease is registered with the state as a nonprofit group and is seeking federal nonprofit status, which would make contributions tax deductible, he said.
Marler said the city will have some say on the final plans but that he does not foresee any problems. Some neighbors may not yet know of the plans, he said.
Sims said dogs tend not to bark much while in dog parks.
According to Chernicki, Caltrans is ”very supportive“ of the plan because area homeowners are using the land to dispose of trash. Off The Leash will be responsible for maintenance, she said.
A lease rate has not been settled upon but ”will not be exorbitant,“ she said.
Besides members, about 150 people are on Off The Leash's mailing list, said Sims.
Sims predicted the park will get heavy use. Dogs parks are not just a good place for dogs - they also encourage owners to socialize, he said.
”It was a dream. Now we're talking about a product,“ he said.
Since You Asked runs on Sundays. It is written by reporter Rob Young. Questions can be sent to him in care of the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901; or faxed to (530) 741-0140. You also may e-mail him at email@example.com.