More off-leash areas? Seattle Parks Board to consider draft dog plan next week


The pink dots are where the city has off-leash dog parks now – in West Seattle, for example, Westcrest Park is the only one. Will more be added – and if so, where? A key step toward deciding that could come next Thursday night, when the Seattle Parks Board discusses, and might vote on, the draft People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan.

You can see documents for the meeting here – including the points that board members are being asked to decide on Thursday night, spelled out in this “decision agenda” memo. It includes proposed changes to the draft plan, and also asks the board to affirm whether new off-leash areas would only be fenced sites – ruling out “leash-optional trails.” And the board will be asked to affirm the plan’s proposed policies for regulating professional dog walkers if they use off-leash areas – with a $100 annual license and requirements for certification if they seek to bring more than three dogs to an OLA after the first two years following passage of the plan.

Ahead of next Thursday’s meeting, the group Citizens for Off-Leash Areas has been circulating a survey asking for more suggestions for “pilot” off-leash spots – find it here. The survey’s introduction says Seattle Parks asked the group to come up with more possible locations. We asked Parks if that was indeed how they were soliciting site suggestions, rather than putting out a call to the public. Spokesperson Christina Hirsch replied:

When the final People, Dogs and Parks Plan is released in March, it will outline a process for the public to submit applications for off-leash locations. This process will be open to all, including groups and individual residents. Seattle Parks and Recreation will form a committee to review the applications and the Superintendent will make the final decision. This process will go through a public involvement process and community outreach.

COLA has worked in collaboration with SPR during the Off-Leash Area Master Plan process. COLA came to SPR with a list of off-leash location recommendations and we suggested that they develop a more comprehensive and geographically balanced list. It appears they are developing that revised list by soliciting community feedback.

COLA’s recommendations will go along with submissions from the community application process.

In the meantime, Thursday night’s board meeting considering the strategic plan is open to the public – 6:30 pm January 12th, at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.).

32 Replies to "More off-leash areas? Seattle Parks Board to consider draft dog plan next week"

  • j January 6, 2017 (9:07 pm)

    Please regulate the dog walkers!!

    Hate going to Westcrest cause of many 1 person 10 dog situations. 

  • R January 6, 2017 (10:01 pm)

    Seattle Parks just finished shrinking the Magnolia Dog Park.  

  • Roger Merlot January 6, 2017 (11:38 pm)

    Lincoln park is the best spot duh!   People would prob even pay like $10 a year to support it. Oh wait $10 a year to have a dog park pass to provide poop cans and water thats crazzzy….

    Put it near the gas station, no one parks or lives near there.   It’s not rocket science.   

    • Seaweed January 7, 2017 (11:09 am)

      Lincoln Park, off limits. No F’ing way! Definitely need a dog park nearby to take on the bloody miscreants who use Lincoln as an off leash park now. I know that most off leashers who use Lincoln currently, are pretty respectful for the whole, but the probable future increase of doggy peeps we will see there will degrade the park.

      • Joel January 7, 2017 (12:07 pm)

        Lincoln park is a very large park with several areas that are not used at all. For instance, the southernmost area that is sloped downhill next to the parking lot. Nobody uses that area at all, and it would be so easy to fence it in.

      • Joel January 7, 2017 (12:09 pm)

        Here’s the spot in Lincoln Park that I’m referring to.

        • Bellen January 7, 2017 (8:53 pm)

          Why can’t dogs run free in Lincoln park?  Dogs are animals who deserve freedom too.  If a dog is destructive blame the owner for not controlling/training them properly.  Are they any worse than the trash all litterers and theives who frequent the area?  There are literally nowhere for dogs to run in the area.  Yards are tiny, etc, etc.  free the dogs!

          • WSalive January 7, 2017 (10:12 pm)

            How about a bounty on off leash dogs? If you can capture one, the owner would have to pay you a stiff fee, or you take it to animal impound- then they still have to pay your fee, plus city fines. It’s just like when you park illegally, and the tow truck hooks up your car, and won’t release it until you pay.. Or impounds it anyway. 

          • Bellen January 9, 2017 (7:20 pm)

            How about a bounty on people who capture off leash dogs?  

          • Checkyersource January 13, 2017 (11:38 am)

            You mean a bounty on dog catchers/animal control? That’s a terrible idea. 

  • Need more dogparks January 7, 2017 (3:23 am)

    Turn all of mekwamooks into an awesome dog park! I think I’ll go to that meeting.

  • Billv34 January 7, 2017 (8:02 am)

    Why do we need more dog parks, every park and school playground is apparently off leash.

    • Erin January 7, 2017 (10:38 am)

      That’s precisely why we need more off leash spaces. Westcrest is the only off-leash space in all of West Seattle. It’s a 15 +/- minute drive there and a 5 minutes walk to the off leash area and it closes at dusk. It’s a great park for the weekend but is not easily accessible during the week for those of us who work and commute.

      We need OLA’s within walking distances of neighborhoods. They would be highly utilized and the illegal off-leash activities at parks would reduce. The OLA’s don’t need to be large, just accessible. 

      • Azimuth January 7, 2017 (9:06 pm)

        Yep Erin, you hit the nail on the head. I think Seattle would be well served with many small parks in addition to a few large ones with unique features  like Magnuson. I think most Dog owners would be willing to pay an extra fee on the tags to support more parks. 

  • anonyme January 7, 2017 (8:18 am)

    There is that dingy picnic area across from Mee Kwa Mooks that would be a good spot.  It would be an improvement over the current usage, and would not further despoil a relatively natural area like Lincoln Park.   IMO, Lincoln would be a terrible choice, as there would be a lot of ‘spillage’ into the park itself.

    • Morgan January 7, 2017 (10:45 am)

      I agree with sentiment of protecting natural element of Lincoln.  The mekaeamook suggestions sound good to me…there is a rather unused picnic area there and there is a road buffer from the shore.

      whats the update on the new Morgan junction park? That may make sense too

      • Judy January 7, 2017 (11:20 am)

        Me-Kwa-Mooks (differentiated from Emma Schmitz Overlook) is used by families for picnics and children as a field for play.  There is a native plant garden and display installed by Pathfinder School.  The interpretive sign was paid for by community donations.  Its use now by unleashed dogs tears up the grass.  It’s a peaceful spot across from the water, with historic value.  It would not make an appropriate  dog park.  Taxes for parks should not be used to take park land away from the general public.  

      • WSB January 7, 2017 (11:27 am)

        The Morgan Junction Park expansion site (where the commercial buildings were demolished a few months ago) is a “landbanked” site and the design discussions haven’t started yet. Same with the site at the bottom of Charlestown Hill and the 40th SW site that currently holds temporary Fire Station 32 between Alaska and Edmunds. – TR

        • Morgan January 7, 2017 (5:21 pm)

          The Morgan junction park would be perfect. Westcrest is a solid half mile walk to the nearest bus stop, and the 128 doesn’t run that often. Morgan junction has a C line stop right there. It’s much the middle of West Seattle too.

  • WSalive January 7, 2017 (1:03 pm)

    Not in Lincoln Park- all the things that make this a special place are vastly compromised by dogs. 

    And perhaps when there is more OLA’s, there can be more adequate enforcement of leash laws. 

  • John January 7, 2017 (1:37 pm)

    How about a people only park where no dogs at all allowed. 

    • WSalive January 7, 2017 (2:25 pm)

      John- you mean like the people only beaches, and people only playgrounds, and people only sports fields, and people only restaurants and grocery stores?  Good luck with that..!?  Of course it makes sense- like smoking bans in restaurants, etc. You’re free to do whatever you like, in a way that doesn’t impose on others. (Unfortunately, entitled dog owners are far too common, and don’t care about the imposition on others.)


  • Jeannie January 7, 2017 (2:03 pm)

    Here’s a shocking suggestion: Keep your dogs ON leashes. Or spend a little money and put a chain-link fence around that park on California Ave., near Whisky West. It’s empty 90 percent of the time I pass it, and there’s no wildlife or natural areas for our doggie pals to destroy.

  • SRRA January 7, 2017 (6:29 pm)

    The fact of the matter is, there are dogs than children in Seattle. Clearly dogs are an extremely important part of life to many, many people here. Dog owners will continue to use parks that are not off leash when no decent options exist. Either install many more off leash parks or quit complaining about all of the off leash dogs everywhere. 

  • D January 7, 2017 (9:43 pm)

    @john Have you ever been to a National Park?

  • TKDguy January 7, 2017 (11:12 pm)

    You could make half of Seattle’s parks into dog parks and entitled dog owners would still let their animals run around without a leash.  

  • Cats rule January 7, 2017 (11:50 pm)

    There are more cats in Seattle than dogs.  Just thought that was an interesting fact.

  • Seaweed January 8, 2017 (8:23 pm)

    Oh, I know… let’s have a levy party!  A substantial increase for dog licenses could help fund these new spaces. Of course, a lot of dog owners will be against this idea, so maybe all home owners can chip in instead.

    • Checkyersource January 11, 2017 (11:54 am)

      I will submit my democracy vouchers to any campaign funding no dog zone law enforcement. 

  • lovedogs_notafanofowners January 9, 2017 (3:22 pm)

    Off leash dogs are all over in Occidental Square downtown – proves that Seattle dog owners give a grand total of zero &%$#’s about leash laws.

    Doesn’t matter how many off leash areas you build, they will continue to think their dog-child is more important that your human-child and they will scoff at any law or restriction to the contrary.

    Of course, any responsible pet owner would never take on ownership of a dog without a proper facility in which to exercise it.  So I guess the city needs to bail out a bunch of irresponsible pet owners?  Nice – can’t fund education but let’s build more parks for the entitled.

  • Mamasuze January 10, 2017 (7:28 am)

    Here is a crazy idea…… about PEOPLE being held to the same standard as dogs?  Clean up after yourself…… don’t be a freaking pig and leave your crap (garbage) all over the beach! or park! or sidewalk!!!

    • Checkyersource January 11, 2017 (11:49 am)

      Yes- dogs and people all should clean up their crap! Dog crap and trash are vastly different, however. I’ve never had my daughter step on a coffee cup, and ruin her shoes, smear it all over her leg and the seat and carpet of my car, and spend a stinky hour of my life trying to remove this most vile residue from this to this to everything it came in contact with. A surprise run in with dog crap, makes for an unbelievably unpleasant and disgusting afternoon!

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann