Wilmette, News

More feedback collected for dog run near Wilmette’s West Park

Dogs are simple creatures. Dog parks? Not as simple.

A fenced-in dog run at Wilmette’s West Park has been in the works for five years, and interested parties gathered at the proposed site on Monday, April 15, for the latest step in the process: an open explainer and discussion hosted by the Wilmette Park District.

The strip of land just west of park district’s West Park — across the parking lot — is located in the Village of Glenview and is owned by CommonWealth Edison. ComEd leases the land to the Wilmette Park District for a “dog play area,” where dogs are allowed off leash, according to district documentation.

Residents ask Kristi Solberg (far right), of the Wilmette Park District, about the dog-run proposal April 15.

Superintendent of Parks and Planning Kristi Solberg said on Monday that for years the park district has received complaints about dogs running into the street, through West Park or into the paddle tennis facility located at West Park. The feedback led the district to propose a fenced-in dog run in the open space.

The project — consisting of an approximately 50-by-250-foot space bordered with metal, slatted fencing featuring two gates — needs approval from both the Village of Glenview and ComEd, and Solberg said with the public-feedback session complete, the park district can now reappear in front of the Glenview Plan Commission.

The dog run would be open to the public; though, dog owners would likely need to register their pooch’s medical records with the park district, Solberg said.

Solberg collected plenty of feedback from the 20 or so community members who attended April 15. A common request, Solberg said, was to expand the length of the proposed dog run. The site’s width is limited by adjacent train tracks, which are obsolete, but more grassland appears available south of where the proposed dog run ends.

Glenview resident Suzan Sultan, who was on hand with her pup, would prefer a larger space but supports the project. She said a fenced-in facility is safer, because “not everyone has well-trained dogs.”

Wilmette Parks Planner Alissa Paquett passes out photos of the proposed fencing for the dog run.

Wilmette’s Jonathan Plater is on the other side of the fence. He and his goldendoodle Rocket are among the regulars to the West Park dog area, and Plater believes the current, more casual setup works well and in eight years he has not seen any significant off-leash problems.

“To me, there is no issue here,” said Plater, who said even if he supported the proposal it is not large enough and he estimates only a handful of dogs could be in the fenced-in space at a time.

It is unclear when the Wilmette Park District’s dog run proposal will return to the Glenview Plan Commission.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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