Environmental hurtle trips dog park
Stonegate Village residents questioned a proposed, but not funded, dog park in the little-used northeast corner of Community Park on environmental grounds before the El Dorado County Planning Commission last week.
The neighbors pointed out that the grass in Folsom’s dog park has died, resulting in a dusty dog play area.
Dust in El Dorado Hills can be deadly, they argued, calling out the El Dorado Hills Community Services District for assuming the dog park would have no more impacts than tennis courts analyzed in the park’s 2003 Environmental Impact Report.
The commissioners conditionally approved other planned park enhancements. Work is planned to begin this summer on a bridge over New York Creek and a four-stall bathroom with flush toilets on the north side of the park, plus the long-planned Josh Anderson memorial basketball court and three additional batting cages in the center of the park. They asked interim CSD Parks Director Mark Riemer return on June 14 for final approval.
Regarding the dog park, commissioners and residents had concerns about naturally occurring asbestos, pet waste in New York Creek, peak parking capacity and a myriad of potential impacts on the adjoining neighborhood.
Stonegate resident Keith Omerdan said an adjacent soccer field would require a 30-foot net to prevent soccer balls from landing in the dog zone, and claimed the park would attract dogs and owners from outside the district, exacerbating all the above concerns.
Another Stonegate resident, Casey Rhyan, said that in addition to his dust mitigation concerns, the CSD’s noise analysis didn’t factor in noise from Stonegate dogs. “When they see all those dogs through their fences it will be non-stop barking,” he said.
An informal path currently runs along the boundary. Fencing and landscape barriers are planned for the 45-foot buffer between Stonegtate and the dog run.
Commissioner Lou Rain, whose District 1 includes the Community Park, said he thought the dog park was in the wrong place. “Those fields are better for people usage, rather than dog usage.”
Funding for the proposed dog park is currently being raised by the El Dorado Dog Owners Guild.