NAPLES, Fla – A public meeting over potential changes to the popular Naples Dog Park is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 4,000 dog owners are currently members of the park.
Among the items for consideration is whether there should there be an annual membership fee.
According to the Community Services Advisory Board, the park’s popularity continues to grow and city staff says people are constantly reaching out about changes they'd like to see made.
The public meeting is a chance for those ideas to be heard.
A recent City of Naples needs assessment listed "improving dog parks" as a top priority. It showed 75% of people feel parks and recreation facilities are "very important" to their quality of life in Naples.
Staff has seen an increase in use at Naples Dog Park with the recent opening of Baker Park.
It plans to discuss a new survey completed by members and other dog owners. Discussion will include things that should be added, taken out, and who should pay for it. Added shade and permanent seating are two things people would like to see.
A committee used to raise private donations to build and cover the annual maintenance of the park, but it's no longer in existence. So funding is now covered by the general fund, similar to the other parks. The city has said that a lack of donated funds could result in a user fee in the future.
Another topic of conversation will center around personal chairs. The discussion may seem familiar if you think back to what happened with Estero Dog Park a few years back. Too many people were leaving personal chairs behind and it was causing concerns about how it made the park look. It led to bigger discussion like the need for additional permanent seating. A similar conversation is now being had at Naples Dog Park.
89% of members and dog owners recently surveyed said they agree that personal property should not be left behind at Naples Dog Park. But if that change is made, they want to see more benches and permanent seating added.
The public meeting is set for 2:30 p.m.