Noise Concerns Threaten Dog Park in Chevy Chase
Board votes to change hours of operation to appease neighbors
Brookville Road Park
VIA CHEVY CHASE VILLAGE
The Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers voted on Monday to change the hours of operation for the dog exercise area at Brookville Road Park, delaying the decision of disestablishing the space altogether for another two months.
The vote followed the third public hearing on the dog park, a fenced-in area near the intersection of Brookville Road and Quincy Street where canines can run free in a secure space.
The park was created about a year ago to limit the number of off-leash dogs roaming the area, but nearby residents have complained about excessive barking and unruly behavior.
“Wishing doesn’t make it true,” board chairwoman Elissa Leonard said. “What we wished was that we could use this space for unleashed dogs and not unduly bother the people that abutted the park, and I just don’t think that that’s the case.”
A meeting last month drew many residents in favor of disestablishing the dog park, Leonard said, but Monday’s meeting attracted people on the other side of the issue. When Leonard asked how many residents in attendance were in favor of keeping the space, roughly 10 people raised their hands. The room fell silent when she asked who was there in favor of disestablishment.
“I love the park,” said Suzanne Resnick, who lives on Primrose Street. “I meet neighbors I have not met before, it’s a good place for the dogs, it’s a good place for the community.”
Resnick added that limiting the park hours, similar to how construction in the area is restricted to certain times, could satisfy both sides.
“I don’t accept the premise that there is a lot of noise that affects neighbors,” said Pat Murphy, who lives just outside the village on Raymond Street. “… It’s not like it’s a kennel for crying out loud.”
Murphy said there’s nowhere else he’s met “such a melting pot of friends.” Even after his son moves to Texas next week with his dog, Murphy said he still plans to visit the park.
While the he board did not decide on the future of park, the sentiment among board members appeared to favor abolishment.
“I don’t see any way to mitigate the problems of parking, of noise, and overuse at certain times,” Assistant Secretary Richard Ruda said. “There’s just no reasonable way to address the fundamental concerns of the abutting neighbors.”
The board did vote to move back the time when the park opens by one hour, to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. The change will go into effect in two weeks.
The board will revisit the future of the park at its September meeting.
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org