PETITION IN SUPPORT OF OFF-LEASH DOG AREA sign now

PETITION IN SUPPORT OF OFF-LEASH DOG AREA


To: Belmont Greene Home Owners Association; City of Ashburn and Recreation & Parks
This petition, supported by the undersigned constituents, is directed to Belmont Greene Home Owners Association, City of Ashburn, and other interested City Officials. Its goal is to support the designation and construction of an enclosed off leash area located in the field between Beth Miller and Trailside Parks (at the end of Chesterton and Leiter Place) on county property.

We, the undersigned constituents of Belmont Greene Community respectfully urge you to support the establishment an off-leash dog park to be created at the location described above.

In creating an off leash dog area, we hope to accomplish multiple goals:

1. To establish a fenced in, off-leash dog area where well-behaved canines can exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or annoying people, property, or wildlife.

2. To develop a beautiful, well-maintained space, open to all Loudoun County dog lovers and friends who are willing to uphold the park's rules and restrictions and the original theme of Trailside Park, Beth Miller Park, and the WO&D Trail.

3. To view this park as a community project, in partnership with the City of Ashburn and Parks and Recreation, designed to satisfy the needs of dog-owners and non-dog owners alike.


Unfortunately, no off-leash dog areas currently exist in the vicinity of the aforementioned community. Just as other taxpayers enjoy convenient public swimming pools, jogging trails, golf courses, and playgrounds, dog owners need a place to exercise and enjoy their pets in an off-leash environment. Further, such a park will benefit the greater community in the following ways.

1) Most dogs require exercise that leashes restrictions do not permit. The cardiovascular benefit provided by healthy play with other dogs is great for dogs longevity and weight control. Dogs are social animals whose mental health is improved by interaction with other canines. Happy, healthy dogs are calmer and better behaved, reducing nuisance barking and other annoying behaviors exhibited by unexercised canines.

2) Such a facility would increase general park utilization and build bonds within the human community.

3) A facility designated specifically toward pet health would provide a logical locus for the City of Ashburn to provide low cost and/or free mobile spay/neuter vans and vaccinations. The park could also act as a venue for the City of Ashburn Department of Animal Care and Control to stage pet adoptions and educational programs promoting an improved quality of life for all of our community dogs. The park will provide license revenue for the city, which will also assist with the overall master plan of assuring that community dogs are vaccinated and altered.

4) Off leash dog area patrons tend to be people who appreciate the park and take an "ownership interest" in it. As a result, they keep the area free of criminal activities and other bad elements. Off-leash dog areas/dog parks greatly deter and reduce crime.

5) Park patrons want to ensure a clean park for all the dogs attending. Feces pick-up and disposal is an integral part of retaining a clean park. A visit to any dog park will verify this observation. Owners watch for and pick up their animals feces, and when a dog defecates, other patrons assume that the dog owner simply did not notice and gently remind the owner to pick up the feces and throw it away.

6) Those who care enough to attend dog parks are usually registered voters, educated, somewhat affluent people, very attractive to local businesses. Such citizens attract others like themselves to live in the area, continuing the trend to increase revenues to local business and to the tax base. Example: The City of Sierra Madre in California learned that the city benefited in many ways once the off-leash dog park opened. The property value has gone up since the park opened. Visitors who have been attracted to Sierra Madre came became of the dog park and have purchased home because of the park.

7) Once the off-leash park is constructed, a core group of community activists including the creators of this petition do commit ourselves to its continued maintenance (e.g. organized, periodic, cleanup efforts).

Again, we would appreciate your consideration in constructing an enclosed off-leash dog park located in the field between Beth Miller and Trailside Parks (at the end of Chesterton and Leiter Place) on county property.

The Petition to Belmont Greene Home Owners Association; City of Ashburn and Recreation & Parks and other interested City Officials was created by and written by Arthur and Krista Couture.

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