Council has taken a step towards the creation of new dog parks in Greater Geelong, releasing a draft set of guidelines for community feedback.
View the guidelines and have your say.
The document will guide the future development of fenced dog parks in the
region, including location, design, education and management.
It has been created in response to strong community feedback, as a way to offer suitable areas for off-leash exercise and socialisation of dogs.
A survey by the City of 617 dog owners found clear support for the development of extra dog parks, with 84 per cent in favour.
Greater Geelong is home to more than 34,500 registered dogs, a figure that is expected to rise further as the city’s population increases.
Of these, the most are in Lara (2649), followed by Highton/Wandana Heights
(2636), Ocean Grove (2563) and Leopold (2067).
The draft guidelines set out a series of recommendations, including:
- New fenced dog parks should be strategically located across the region at sites central to the dog population;
- Each new park should service a cluster of suburbs;
- The minimum size of a new dog park should be 3,000 square metres; and
- They should be located within larger open space areas, at accessible and highly visible sites.
The document also features design guidelines, divided into four categories: ‘core infrastructure’ (such as perimeter fencing
and double gates); ‘essential amenities’ (such as bins and bag dispensers); ‘desirable amenities’ (such as separate areas for large and small dogs); and ‘optional amenities’ (such as lighting).
It’s recommended all dog parks are designed to suit their individual sites, and that they be developed one at a time.
Importantly, the report states that the creation of extra dog parks would complement, not replace, existing off-leash areas at the region’s reserves and beaches.
The guidelines also suggest several potential improvements to the City’s only existing dog park, at Stead Park in Corio.
Funding for this, along with any new dog parks, will be subject to consideration in future Council budgets.
Estimates suggest construction of each new park would cost around $300,000.
Feedback during the four-week engagement period will be considered for the
final guidelines, to be presented to Council early in 2019.
Mayor Bruce Harwood:
With our rapid population growth and the reduction of average residential block sizes, there’s an added need for dog exercise areas.
Cr Anthony Aitken, Co-Chair, Social and Infrastructure Planning portfolio:
This is reflected in our survey results, which show that dog owners strongly
believe fenced parks would provide a safe space to exercise and socialise their pets.
This set of guidelines gives us the opportunity to identify the best locations,
and then design and build new dog parks in a planned and coordinated way.
We’re keen to hear public feedback, including suggestions for possible
locations, so I’d encourage everyone interested to visit the website and have your say.
Dogs improve their owners’ lives by providing important physical and mental health benefits, companionship, and the chance to create social connections in the community.
With the highest numbers of dog owners in Lara and Highton, it makes sense to see some dog parks in these suburbs initially. Dog parks are a very important way we can provide value back to pet owners and increase socialisation of animals.