Dog Park Location Uncertain; Pickleball Courts Get Go-Ahead

  • Al Haggerty

The prospects of a dog park in Oakmont remain unclear because of the difficulty of finding a viable site, community objections and needed direction from the Oakmont Village Association Board.

The Dog Park Committee, in its report at the May 1 Board meeting at Berger Center, said it “needs direction from the BOD before it proceeds any further and incurs OVA expenses and specific feedback from the BOD on which options they would really support when it comes time to vote.”
Asked if the committee was looking for funds, committee member Randi Hulce said they had an estimate of $3,000 for a conceptual drawing that the city of Santa Rosa requires in considering a dog park site. The board took no action on the apparent request for funds.  

Board president Steve Spanier asked if there are any sites that wouldn’t produce complaints and suggested “additional research” is needed. He said he was sympathetic with opposition from people living near some potential sites and wondered if there are any sites without neighbors.

A parade of residents echoed the arguments voiced at an April 19 Town Hall by Stonebridge and Silver Creek homeowners, who oppose three potential sites in the open space at Stone Bridge Road either across from the RV and Self Storage facility, across from the Community Gardens or above the Community Gardens.  The issues raised include common house flies carrying disease which dog feces might attract, drainage from a dog site into the Community gardens, traffic and parking problems, impact on property values and the site being too narrow, too hilly or unsafe and disrupting flood control functions of the hillside.

After the city of Santa Rosa rejected a number of other sites because of size, lack of parking, lack of accessibility and other issues, the Dog Park Committee said two parcels of land owned by the Oakmont Golf Course might fill the bill. However, it added, they would require “fast track negotiations with the OGC and OVA Board approval for the dog park site.” These negotiations would include OGC’s request for financial support from the OVA.

In an action which was described as “putting pickleball in the rear view mirror,”

the board unanimously approved contracts totaling $42,659 for putting six pickleball courts at the East Recreation Center. They include $5,100 for resurfacing, $10,784 for new posts and $26,775 for work on the lower courts.

In response to Spanier’s call for increased civility and “respectful dialogue throughout our community”, the board unanimously approved formation of a Committee for Community Education and Transparency and is soliciting applications for members. He said the committee would be the “eyes and ears of the community” and cited an organization called “Living Room Conversations,” which offers a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us.”

Spanier said the new club will allow residents “to meet and have meaningful discussions about important topics with your Oakmont neighbors.” He said the club will start up soon and urged “if any of you wish to give it a try” to stay tuned as the club is advertised through the usual channels, including the Oakmont News.

The board approved a motion to allow renters to attend board meetings and participate in the members forum.

The next board meeting will be held June19 at Berger.