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Dog exercise area proposed for popular windsurfing & kiteboarding location

Popular sailing spot in a southerly is about to have a fenced dog exercise area attached to it without consultation. The area in McEwan Park, Petone is one of the most popular locations for beginner/recreational windsurfing and kiteboarding in Wellington, and one of the few locations sailable in a southerly wind.

Users of this area know that people exercising dogs in this area are already a problem with little respect for the other users. The council is planning to fence off a grassed area used for rigging , launching and practising kite flying. The area will attract many more dog owners, creating parking problems in a location which is already used to capacity on a good day. Besides the windsports users the area is used by numerous others for sports activities.

My experience with these dedicated dog exercise areas is one I encountered years ago at Island Bay which smelled so badly I can't believe the neighbours were not up in arms.

There is plenty of alternative areas available further east towards the Hutt River on the Hikoikoi Reserve, there is no justification for placing it here where it will impact so many other existing users.

The Hutt City Council is meeting to consider this on Tuesday night so there's not much time.
You can make you opposition heard by emailing the councillors (see emails below), and/or attending the meetin (allowed to talk for 3 minutes). If that's not your thing, then email Bruce Spedding or make your feelings known on Facebook (I'll present a summary)

ray.wallace@huttcity.govt.nz
david.bassett@huttcity.govt.nz
angus.finlayson@huttcity.govt.nz
barbara.branch@huttcity.govt.nz
campbell.barry@huttcity.govt.nz
chris.milne@huttcity.govt.nz
gwen.mcdonald@huttcity.govt.nz
lisa.bridson@huttcity.govt.nz
margaret.cousins@huttcity.govt.nz
margaret.willard@huttcity.govt.nz
max.shierlaw@huttcity.govt.nz
michael.lulich@huttcity.govt.nz
tui.lewis@huttcity.govt.nz

Tuesday 2 August 2016 commencing at 6.00pm
Order paper: http://infocouncil.huttcity.govt.nz/Open/2016/08/HCC_02082016_AGN_AT_WEB...

Note the relevant section is listed below as it's not easy to find...

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

POLICY AND REGULATORY SUBCOMMITTEE

Report of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road,
Lower Hutt on
Tuesday 7 June 2016 commencing at 9.30am

PRESENT: Cr M Cousins (Chair) Cr B Branch
Cr A Finlayson Cr T Lewis
Cr M Willard

APOLOGIES: There were no apologies.

IN ATTENDANCE: Mr G Stuart, Divisional Manager Regulatory Services
Mr G Sewell, Principal Policy Advisor (part meeting)
Mr L Dalton, Regional Manager Animal Services (part meeting)
Ms K Glanville, Senior Committee Advisor (part meeting)
Mrs H Clegg, Minute Taker

PUBLIC BUSINESS

1. APOLOGIES

There were no apologies.

2.

PROPOSED FENCED DOG PARK AT MCEWAN PARK (16/645)

Report No. PRSub2016/3/114 by the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services

The Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services stated there was currently no hydatids in the area, and that this was constantly being monitored. He said if an outbreak of hydatids occurred, a dog park would be closed immediately. He explained that a number of possible areas were considered for a dog park. With regards to the proposed size for the park, he advised Council’s Parks and Gardens division was amenable to enlarging the proposed park area to approximately 90m long x 50m wide. He added he had spoken with Ms Mellish from the Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust who had indicated if a dog park was located in the McEwan Park area, it would be preferable to be towards the toilet area of the park.

3.

HEARING OF SUBMISSIONS ON THE PROPOSED DOG PARK (16/643)

Report No. PRSub2016/3/92 by the Senior Committee Advisor

Marie Jones presented submission SDP16/57. She expressed concern about the number of rules for areas where dogs could and could not be exercised. She believed a dog park had many advantages, including the social aspect for both dogs and their owners. She said there would be financial gains for the city from out-of-towners who would visit the park.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Jones stated she would not mind if the beach became off limits to dogs once the dog park was operational.

Vicki Hollywell on behalf of Liz Mellish , Chair Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust presented submission SDP16/152. She explained she was a representative for Te Atiawa, and worked for the Wellington Tenths Trust at the offices situated at Hikoikoi Reserve. She informed members that the proposed dog park siting was within an area of cultural significance to Māori and was close to the Hikoikoi Pa site. She advised that the Tenths Trust buildings often accommodated large numbers of people staying overnight and used the surrounding area extensively. She said that the Tenths Trust was concerned about the use of the area being exclusively for dogs as this was a destructive and disrespectful activity for the area. She noted that the concept of a dog park was a good idea but that the location required careful consideration. She raised further concern that the Tenths Trust had not been consulted with. She noted that consultation should take place before extensive studies were carried out to assess whether proposed sites had cultural significance.

In response to a questions from members, Ms Hollywell said that if a dog park was to be located on McEwan Park then it would be preferable to locate it away from the buildings. She advised that the Trust would oppose an extension of the dog park area as an extension would impact on the Tenths Trust’s use of the park. She noted that the Trust had not been consulted when the beach area was opened as an exercise area for dogs and that this was also opposed by the Tenths Trust.

In response to further questions from members, Ms Hollywell agreed there was a major problem with dog defecation in the area. She said the Tenths Trust would prefer the park and beach areas to be dog free for environmental and cultural reasons.

Christine Fox presented submission no. SDP16/162. She advised that she worked for Wellington Tenths Trust and also the Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust situated at the Hikoikoi Reserve offices. She explained that she was a co-ordinator for Hikoikoi Waka Ama. She said that the waka ama programme and other activities provided at the Trust offices frequently used the McEwan Park area adjacent to the offices. She stated that there was a lack of parking in the area and this problem would increase with the introduction a dog park to the area.

Ms Fox informed members that the Trust had undertaken dune and beach restoration work in the area. She advised that dog defecation in the area was a problem and that Tenths Trust staff regularly cleaned up dog excretment before using the area. She said the Sports Zone Little Dribblers Club used the area of the park where the dog park was proposed and queried whether they had been consulted. She expressed concern about the interaction of dogs with young children.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Fox explained the waka were stored on site and launched directly from the beach adjacent to the Tenths Trust’s office.

Alice Collard, Small Dog Socials presented submission no. SDP159. She agreed that there was a dog defecation problem in the Hikoikoi Reserve area. She proposed the establishment of a Hikoikoi Fenced Dog Park Trust to facilitate the development and ongoing management of a fenced dog park to ensure it was compatible with the existing amenity value, cultural significance and existing users of the Hikoikoi Reserve area. She explained that an effective dog park required all weather surfaces, activities for dogs to participate in, lighting and security cameras.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Collard said a dog park had the potential to be a cleaner area than the open park as it was easier to monitor.

Trish Cochrane, Secretary, Avalon Dog Training Club (the Club) presented submission SDP16/160. She advised that the Club shared its grounds with the Pony Club. She expressed the Club’s concern that the proposed dog park was too small. She considered that the dog park should have designated areas for different aged, sized and socially behaved dogs within the dog park. She supported the use of the beach area for dogs as this was the only shallow area suitable for dog swimming. She said she understood the concerns of conflicting users of the park raised by other submitters and suggested that alternative locations for a fully functional dog park be investigated.

Nicky Allardice presented submission SDP16/64. She considered a dog park would be beneficial for off lead training in a safe environment.

Fiona Bowden presented submission SDP16/48. She advised the she was unable to walk her dog around the Hutt River area in summer due to toxic algae. She expressed support for the proposed dog park as it was ideal for socialising dogs and could assist dog owners who were unable to walk their dogs long distance. She expressed support for the use of the beach area for dogs.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Bowden did not consider there was a dog defecation issue in the area.

Gail Rumble presented submission SDP158. She expressed support of the proposed dog park as it would help socialise dogs and assist older dog owners who were unable to walk their dog long distance. She advised that the size of the park was critical to its success with a larger sized park being optimal.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Rumble said she was aware of other successful dog parks in the county and reiterated a large sized park was necessary.

2.

PROPOSED FENCED DOG PARK AT MCEWAN PARK (16/645)

Report No. PRSub2016/3/114 by the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services

The Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services advised that two other locations had been assessed as possible sites for dog parks. He said that the McEwan Park site was deemed most appropriate as the two other sites were boarded by residential properties. He explained that Area 20 was designated as an off-leash area under the Dog Control Bylaw 2016 adopted by Council in February 2016. He noted that the west end of the Park had been a dog area for 10 years.

In relation to the size of the proposed dog park, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services stated that the dog park was intended as a training facility and not as an open running field. He said that in the future there could be other dog parks in the city for different uses. He acknowledged the concerns that a dog park would increase the number of dogs in the area and noted that a requirement under the Dog Control Bylaw 2016 was that dogs were under control at all times. He informed members that Council’s Park and Gardens division had no concern with the current location of the proposed dog park in relation to the distance from the children’s playground. He advised the car parking situation had been assessed as being adequate for the percieved usage of the dog park. He noted that with the increase of dogs and dog owners in the city the dog park would be responding to an identified need within the city. He added that such a park would also attract dog owners from outside the city.

The Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services further advised that officers were in favour of establishing a Management Group for the dog park. He envisioned the Group would be responsible for the operation and cleanliness of the park and the immediate surrounding areas. He said Council’s Animal Services division had purchased a caravan for use in training operations throughout the city and this could be parked full time for a month at the dog park once operational.

In response to questions from members, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services considered it would be possible to close off the dog exercise area in the event of a function at the Wellington Tenths Trust premises. He acknowledged the extensive plantings and conservation measures the Trust had undertaken.

In response to further questions from members, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services said that dog training and education would be undertaken at the proposed dog park by both officers and independent operators. He noted that Council had already run 15 training sessions this year. He advised that if the proposed site of the dog park was changed there would be no need to re-advertise the proposal as the current proposal was indicative only.

RESOLVED: Minute No. PRSub 16301

“That the Subcommittee notes the full submissions.”

RECOMMENDED: Minute No. PRSub 16302

“That the Subcommittee recommends that Council:

(i) approves a fenced dog park at McEwan Park, attached as page 13 to the minutes;

(ii) notes that this park is for training and socialisation purposes only and is not an open running area as there are a number of running areas elsewhere in the city;

(iii) establishes a Management Group to assist officers in the management of the dog park; and

(iv) extends the dog park to 90m along the fence line on an alternative site, running east and west, attached as page 6 to the minutes.”

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 11.40am.

Cr MJ Cousins
CHAIR

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record
Dated this 5th day of September 2016

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