The subject of off-leash dogs in Lincoln Park – a violation of city/park rules – was the hottest topic on the agenda for this month’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting. A bigger discussion is on the horizon, and you’ll be invited. But in the meantime, violators are on notice:
The problem has been a hot button for a long time. It sparked a new round of anger with this WSB reader report of a dog attacking one of the popular white geese that live on the waters and beaches of Fauntleroy. But it’s not just the beach, one attendee told the FCA board – the upper-park meadows have a de-facto dog run, and dog owners who use it as such don’t take kindly to being told their pets are required to be on leashes.
The ensuing board discussion this past Tuesday included suggestions that this topic could be part of the larger community meeting the board’s been discussing for a few months – FCA meets monthly as a board, and hosts an annual membership meeting, but larger gatherings tend to focus on one topic, like the one quickly convened this past summer after the proposed commercial zipline attraction installation came to light. The board has been talking about convening a community meeting about Lincoln Park in general, and agreed that the dog topic would make sense as part of it. They acknowledged that it would likely stir passions on both sides of the issue – enforcement of current rules, given the safety issues (including the threat to wildlife, such as seal pups on the beach), or whether there needs to be more accommodation for dogs – could part of the park hold an official off-leash area? (Right now, the only one in any West Seattle park is at Westcrest Park.)
The FCA board agreed to set a date and format next month for the larger meeting, which will likely be in January or February.
We talked with Seattle Animal Shelter‘s enforcement supervisor Ann Graves at week’s end and she didn’t have any word yet on an impending warning of imminent enforcement – but also noted that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not on the schedule.
So bottom line – animal-control officers are expected at Lincoln Park any time now, and dog owners who break the leash law run the risk of a costly citation. If you want to discuss the issue, or others related to the park, keep an eye out for word of that larger community meeting early in the New Year. We’ll report the date once it’s set, and you will see it on the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s website and Facebook page, too.