Margaret Moran

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July 17, 2013
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Officials vet locations for North Tahoe dog park

TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — North Tahoe Regional Park could soon be going to the dogs — literally.

Next month, North Tahoe Public Utility District staff will recommend the board of directors approve a location near the first tee box at the park’s disc golf course — an open area known as “upper bench” — as the site for an off-leash dog park.

“We have to plan properly because whatever we do right now, we’re going to be living with,” said Lane Lewis, NTPUD board president.

District staff favors upper bench due to its current lack of use, availability to water and electricity, and adequate space to house the 1.5- to 2-acre dog park, said Paul Schultz, district general manager and CEO.

Tahoe Vista resident Pam Berger approached NTPUD about a year and a half ago with the dog park proposal.

While the upper bench area with its views of Lake Tahoe is a beautiful location, Berger said she has funding concerns related to needed site improvements, which include adding fencing, installing trees to provide shade, putting in sod and improving the paved road that leads to it.

During a site tour Friday, NTPUD board members and officials recognized the need for improvements to the road. A cost estimate for the district is currently being prepared, Schultz said.

Payment of other site improvements would fall on the nonprofit Dog Day in the Park, which is leading fundraising efforts. To date, $2,000 has been raised, said Berger, a Dog Day member.

Total project cost currently is unknown, officials said.

“Where can we build it, so it’s financially feasible for a little nonprofit?” Berger posed.

The site Berger favors is Field 3, a soccer field next to one of North Tahoe Regional Park’s ball fields, due to sod and some fencing already being present at the site.

Additional fencing, double gates and ADA access measures would be needed, with improvement costs likely below those of upper bench, she said.

However, Field 3 is currently used by the community.

“At the last board meeting, we had soccer parents … very concerned about taking out the existing soccer field for a dog park,” Lewis said. “They were very vocal as far as not wanting that to happen because they currently utilize that field.”

Two other sites within North Tahoe Regional Park are being considered, but aren’t as heavily favored due to size or ADA compatibility limitations.

“There’s enough land up there; it’s just finding the right place,” Berger said.

The board could vote on a final location at its Aug. 13 meeting, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the North Tahoe Event Center.

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Sierra Sun Updated Jul 16, 2013 06:45PM Published Jul 17, 2013 05:46PM Copyright 2013 Sierra Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.