ABOUT THE PROJECT
The City of Calgary, in partnership with the Hidden Valley Community Association, is looking for feedback on the proposal to use municipal land as an off-leash, multi-use area for the local community to enjoy. In addition we are looking at reverting a section of Natural Area back to on-leash.
The proposed off-leash multi-use area is currently a park space with baseball diamond adjacent to Beddington Trail (See Map)
The vision for the new off-leash space is that it would be dog friendly (i.e off leash is available) however not an exclusive area for dog users.
New infrastructure would be minimal but would include garbage cans and potentially benches. Fencing around the area would remain unchanged so will not be fully enclosed. Formal Parking would not be provided for this site however there is on street parking on the adjacent road.
The Natural area space that we are considering reverting to on-leash is between Hidden Valley Drive and Country Hills Boulevard NW.
The vision is that the off-leash signs would be removed, however other amenities such as garbage cans would remain
WHY IS THIS AREA BEING PROPOSED?
The area proposed is a stormwater dry pond that has a baseball diamond. Feedback we have received is that it is not well utilized due to the small size of the outfield, and the City’s booking data also suggests that the baseball diamond is not well utilized.
If the decision was made to convert to a dog friendly/off-leash space, the City will remove the baseball diamond and restore to grass.
We see this as a space that the residents of the local community will mostly benefit from, although will likely attract some visitors from other communities. These visitors can park on Hidden Valley Link.
No additional fencing will be installed and so post and cable will remain on the South Side.
There is also opportunity to reinstate a section of natural area back to an on-leash area aligns with the City’s naturalization objectives to provide as little disturbance to natural areas as possible.
We see the impact to off-leash users as minimal due to the steep embankments and sides onto a bike and walking path, where dogs must be on leash.
City of Calgary, Parks would like to engage on this subject and understand if there are any strong objections towards this natural area being reinstated to on-leash.
Likely Concerns that we wish to mitigate:
- Parking – People will invariably drive to parks although this is intended to be a local space for the community to walk/bike to. There are some limited parking opportunities beside Hidden Valley link.
- Garbage – There will be Garbage Cans installed by the entrances. We have a Bylaw to enforce, however to promote better stewardship, Community support/advocacy is best. We are looking at bin bags/poop bag dispensers to be placed in conjunction with community supported partnership for maintaining supply.
- Noise – we don’t foresee there being any added noise concerns due to location to Beddington trail
- Smell - garbage bins will be emptied on a regular basis to manage smell concerns.
- Enforcement – we have Bylaws that can be enforced; however, Community Support/Vigilance will be the best approach. Provision of dedicated space often leads to more responsible pet ownership practices.
We are seeking your input to gauge your response to the proposed changes. As noted this is being done in conjunction with the Community Association to utilize spaces in the the most beneficial way to residents of your community. Please review the information provided and give us your input.
PROVIDE YOUR INPUT - survey is now closed thank you for your time and input.
You can view the What We Heard report by clicking here.
From the What We Heard Report Parks has identified the following key points and themes:
- Well supported feedback on the project
- Understand the need for change of use in Natural Area
- Will advise Parks management that there has been a favourable outcome
Education / Leadership
Volunteers championing behaviour
Promote more self-clean up
Compostable bags being available
Include in community spring clean up
More Bylaw presence
Alley parking concerns
Help with “Beautification”
Want it fully fenced – Give an update
Fills with water – Confirm?
Next Steps will include:
- Meet with Community Association to discuss what we heard report.
- Discuss comments and ways to mitigate main concerns
- Parks and Community to revise any plans or proposals.
- Discuss opportunities for added involvement by Community – Volunteers etc.
- Discuss if community association wishes to proceed – Support with board motion.
- Parks to circulate revised plans to key stakeholders and work with stakeholders to finalize these revised plans. Loop back to Community Association as needed.
- Communicate updated plans / proposals on ENGAGE. Communicate decisions and reasons behind those decisions
- If all parties agree to proceed, create a schedule and budget for works and provide a timeline to the public.
Following the indication on the “What We Heard Report” that a new Off-Leash Area would be met favorably by the community, further discussions were held regarding converting this space into an off-leash area. Unfortunately, due to environmental concerns, the City has decided to suspend moving forward until a viable solution can be found. This park is a dry pond that discharges stormwater directly into nose creek and there is currently no practicable way to mitigate dog waste going straight into the creek.
However, the plan is still to remove the baseball diamond, as it is not used, and put in new/rearrange existing seating.