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Plans for dog park roll over

Johnson-Springview Park now favored location over Lonetree Park
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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As the city struggles to get Rocklin’s first dog park open, a new plan to move the location from Lonetree Park in west Rocklin to Johnson-Springview Park has taken hold. Rocklin’s Director of Parks and Recreation Gordon Holt told the Recreation Commission last Wednesday that the city and its community partner, Rocklin Residents Unite for Fido (RRUFF), want to change the location. “After looking at the two sites, the Johnson-Springview Park will require a lot less work and construction, so it’s going to be less costly,” Holt told the commissioners. The primary concerns for the original site at the east end of Lonetree Park on West Oaks Boulevard were the rocky terrain, lack of vegetation and expense of running a water line for the proposed dog wash at the site. According to the city, since the original site was within the flood plan, the proposed fencing could pose problems in the event of a flood. Water quality was also raised as a concern since runoff from the dog park into the adjacent creek could impact the stream. RRUFF President Vicki Curtis asked the city to consider the change because the new one acre site behind the horseshoe pit at Johnson-Springview is wooded with oak trees, has better parking and is closer to park bathrooms. “The way the land is naturally graded, it does not create any kind of a flood issue at all,” Curtis said. “This is going to be less expensive (to build).” RRUFF and the city are planning to split the cost of creating the park, but numbers haven’t been finalized. Rocklin Recreation Commissioner Jim Carter said the new spot with added dog feces may be too close to the existing picnic area. “In five minutes, there are flies,” Carter said. He's also was concerned about dogs getting loose and possibly biting a child in the adjacent playground. “I would hate to see a kid get hurt,” Carter said. “I don’t want to see a fence around the kids’ park.” Holt said the responsibility will be on the parents and the dog owners. “We do have enough distance between the kids’ playground as well as the picnic area,” Holt said. “It’s something we need to monitor and make sure people are following the rules.” Proposed rules for the dog park have not been finalized. RRUFF member Kate Gibbons, who lives across the street from Johnson-Springview, said her organization will help monitor the dog park. “We’ll be there frequently reminding people to pick up after their dogs, (to have) licenses and vaccinations and reminding them that we are not a leash free city,” Gibbons said. With the concerns noted, the Recreation Commission unanimously voted to approve the change in venue. While the location change will impact Johnson-Springview’s 18-hole disc golf course, the reconfiguration will add more holes and allow clubs to operate championship tournaments. “It’s a great thing for everybody, not just the golfers but the whole community will benefit,” Rocklin Disc Golf Club member Darin Purdue said. “It will allow more people to come and use the park.” Disc golfer and dog owner Dennis Whitley said the park, with its 90 acres of open space, is big enough for everybody. “This is a great location,” Whitley said. “As long as the dogs are friendly, let’s have a good time.” City Council members approved the building of a dog park at Lonetree Park in April. It’s unclear when the council will get a chance to weigh-in on the new site. RRUFF is hoping to break ground on the park by the end of the year. To learn more about RRUFF, visit www.rruff.vpweb.com.