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Fwd: Nealon Park Capital Improvement Project

From: domainremoved <Yee>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 14:35:38 -0800

Dear Members of the City Council:

I would like to fwd you a copy of some email exchanges between Cherise and
me, with the intent of involving you in the discussion.

Best regards,

Yee-Yie Fogarty




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yee Yie Fogarty <ylieskovsky_at_(domainremoved)
Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: Nealon Park Capital Improvement Project
To: "Brandell, Cherise E" <cebrandell_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: _CCIN <councilmail_at_(domainremoved)
Piper <kate.c.piper_at_(domainremoved)
Katelyn Mack <Katelyn.Mack_at_(domainremoved)


Dear Cherise,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate this further detail about the
discussion leading up to the proposal to move the dog park from the sports
field to the open space. I would like to comment on some of your points:

· Presence of a dog park at Nealon does not adversely impact area
residents or other park users with noise or traffic
I don't think this statement can be generalized to include a dog park in
any part of the Nealon Park complex. In its current location, dog owners
find it more convenient to park on the side lot as well as the back lot,
which are closer to the 2 entrances of the playing field. This parking
does not interfere with the park/preschool parking. If 50-100 dog owners
are parking in the front lot due to the closer access to the new location,
then families will be forced to park farther away and this will be a great
inconvenience for adults who are trying to get 1 or more children safely to
the park. In addition, the noise from the barking dogs will now be closer
to the preschool, the Litttle House, and the residents who border the
eastern side of the park. I agree with Elizabeth that extended hours will
absolutely increase the noise burden for all of these people.


· Nealon Park has adequate space to accommodate the variety of uses
currently occurring at the park, including a separate space for people with
dogs
While Nealon Park is relatively large, it also has multiple functions that
work together to make it the most popular park in MP. I agree with Kate
that my 2 year old can be playing in the fenced in playground, while my 4
year old is running around on the grassy field with his friends from the
preschool. I've also seen families playing at the park or picnicking on
the grassy field while siblings are in preschool or in tennis lessons. Or
moms are doing fitness classes on the grassy field while their children are
playing in the park. There are an infinite number of examples that point
to the importance of having both an enclosed playground and a safe,
insulated grassy space in close proximity to each other and to the other
resources at Nealon. I think that replacing this central field with a
single purpose activity (use for people with dogs), will negatively impact
the way that many families use the current space.

· Dog park users have not negatively impacted the many other users
of the park, including tennis players, picnickers, pre-schoolers, seniors
and more, and staff believes the multiple uses of Nealon Park continue to
be compatible, desirable and appropriate.
This statement seems like a logical fallacy. The fact that the current dog
park location/hours has not negatively impacted other park users does not
mean that moving it to another location within the park and changing the
hours will generate the same result. I have observed the frequent, heavy
usage of the field for many different activities. I agree with Sandy and
Kate that this area is a vital part of the park, and removing it from usage
will negatively impact many people.

· It is similarly situated (interior to the park and adjacent to
the preschool) as the *existing* dog park location on the sports field, and
furthest from neighborhood residents
The current dog park is in a peripheral location. The proposed site for
the dog park is central.

· Other open space areas exist in the park that can still be used
for other activities, including the open space in the sports field when not
in use for sports and spaces between the tennis courts and the street
This is untrue. The space between the tennis court and street? Do you
mean the approximately 30 ft wide strip of dirt/trees that abut Middle
Avenue? I agree with Kate-- no parent would ever suggest their child play
here. There is heavy traffic on Middle Avenue. In addition, it is
completely cut off from the other amenities of the park. It's like
suggesting we let our children play in a parking lot.
In addition, the sports field is also cut off from the other park
amenities, such as the playground, restrooms, preschool and tennis courts.
It is surrounded by a fence with 2 entrances that are located in the
parking lot. It offers a completely different purpose than the current
grassy field that is insulated from street and parking lot traffic and is
accessible to anyone from all sides.

Best regards,

Yee-Yie Fogarty



On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 9:18 AM, Brandell, Cherise E <
cebrandell_at_(domainremoved)

> Menlo Park is fortunate to have a broad range of park spaces accommodating
> the diverse needs of all our residents. Our park system contains parks
> that are dedicated to open space activities, active park uses, quiet park
> uses and playgrounds for small children only, just to name a few. We’re
> also fortunate that parks in the center of town have the space available to
> accommodate many user groups, like Nealon Park, with its tennis courts,
> playing field, open spaces, senior center, playground and existing dog
> park. Since the opening of the dog park over ten years ago, dozens of dog
> park users each day have had a chance to not only exercise their dogs, but
> to build community with other park users, dog owners and non-dog owners
> alike.
>
> The ten year “pilot project” to use a playing field as a dog park part of
> the day has provided the following data:
>
> · The dog park gets heavy use during its open hours (50- 100
> users each day)
>
> · Presence of a dog park at Nealon does not adversely impact area
> residents or other park users with noise or traffic
>
> · Although dog park users are responsible in picking up after
> their pets, it is not desirable for children to play in the same area used
> by the dogs. Maintaining the field at the level necessary for safe
> activities is not possible with the volume of dog traffic, California water
> restrictions and existing City resources – for sanitary reasons, dogs need
> a separate area
>
> · Nealon Park has adequate space to accommodate the variety of
> uses currently occurring at the park, including a separate space for people
> with dogs
>
> · Dog park users have not negatively impacted the many other
> users of the park, including tennis players, picnickers, pre-schoolers,
> seniors and more, and staff believes the multiple uses of Nealon Park
> continue to be compatible, desirable and appropriate.
>
> · It is not considered “best practice” for dogs and sports / open
> play to share field space.
>
> Based on these facts, at their meeting on May 19, 2015 (a well-attended
> meeting posted in the Almanac and at the Park that included various park
> users), the City Council approved a Capital Improvement Project for the
> 15-16 Fiscal Year to consider moving the dog park to another location at
> Nealon Park. Although a final location has not yet been determined, staff
> has tentatively focused on the open space between Little House and the
> playground area because:
>
> · It is similarly situated (interior to the park and adjacent to
> the preschool) as the *existing* dog park location on the sports field,
> and furthest from neighborhood residents
>
> · Other open space areas exist in the park that can still be used
> for other activities, including the open space in the sports field when not
> in use for sports and spaces between the tennis courts and the street
>
> We want to hear your ideas. A project open house to gather input on the
> proposed location, possible amenities and any other questions or concerns
> will be held on Tuesday, November 10 from 7pm – 8pm in the Cypress Room at
> the Arrillaga Recreation Center. Stop by any time and leave your thoughts
> on the display boards and talk to staff about the project.
>
>
>
Received on Fri Nov 06 2015 - 14:37:31 PST

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