Supervisors fail to reach conclusion on dog parks

Following its second work session on the topic, the Henrico Board of Supervisors remains undecided about whether to alter a county ordinance in order to permit private dog parks.

Board members discussed the matter Dec. 11 but failed to reach a consensus about whether to move forward with it. The matter arose initially when the Wyndham Foundation inquired about the possibility of building such a park within its community, citing interest from residents who responded to a survey.

County officials do not recommend that the board authorize the establishment of private dog parks, County Manager Virgil Hazelett told the board. But if the board chooses to permit them, officials recommend that it does so with the same standards that apply to public dog parks – except within multi-family housing communities, where standards could be relaxed.

During the Dec. 11 work session, county planners told supervisors that they would recommend private dog parks in single-family communities be at least one acre in size with 400-foot setbacks on all sides and a five-foot fence around the perimeter of the park.

But within multi-family communities, planners would recommend that such parks need be only a half-acre at minimum and be located within the interior of the development, though not necessarily subject to setback requirements.

The Wyndham Foundation felt that the standards proposed by planners were too restrictive and not appropriate for their concept of a dog park, Henrico principal planner Ben Blankenship told the board.

Henrico’s first public dog park opened in October 2011 at Dorey Park. Another one is being considered at Short Pump Park, Three Chopt District Supervisor Dave Kaechele said.

Board Chair Dick Glover appeared visibly agitated during the discussion last week, suggesting on several occasions that the board should either act or quit talking about the matter.

“This is, what, the third meeting that we’ve had on this?” Glover said. “And we’re no farther along than we were when we started.”

Kaechele is expected to meet with Wyndham officials again to determine whether supervisors will take any action on the matter or not.
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The Weinstein JCC will host the first-ever Israel Fest from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. This “everything Israel” street festival features camel rides ($6), a petting zoo, henna tattoos, Israeli cuisine for purchase, Israeli wine tastings, the Israeli Friendship Caravan performance at 3 p.m., dance demonstration at 4:30 p.m. and an Israeli-style shuk with local artisans. Admission is free. For details, visit http://www.weinsteinjcc.org. Full text

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