Shaw Park Proposed Off Leash Dog Area
Visit Shaw Park
Sonoma County Regional
Parks has received numerous requests to consider providing some use of Shaw
Park for off leash dogs. This 5 acre neighborhood park features a soccer field
area, picnic area and playground. For many years the Kenwood Soccer Association
has partnered with Regional Parks to assist with field maintenance during the
soccer season, but that agreement has expired and presently there are no
organized recreational athletic leagues utilizing the field. The field is regularly used by non league
groups and individuals for informal games and practice.
A Neighborhood survey was distributed to 264 park neighbors on July 24, 2015 and due by August 17, 2015. This survey provided a brief explanation of a “dog off leash area” and asked various questions about the level of support and concerns for allowing such use at the park. 117 responses were received with
49.5% in support of some type off-leash dog utilization, 36% opposed and 14.4% responding that they “don’t mind either way.”
- 264 surveys mailed to park neighbors on July 24, 2015 (within ¼ mile of Shaw Park)
- 117 responses received (106 from mailing / 11 from community meeting) received or postmarked by August 17, 2015
1. Would you
like to see Off Leash Dog Hours established at Shaw Park?
- Yes: 49.5%
- No: 36.0%
- Don’t mind either way: 14.4%
2. Check box based on your level of support of each of the options below:
||Level of Support Rating
|| Off leash dog hours – daily (limited hour’s am/pm)
|| Off leash dog hours – weekends only (specific hours)
|| Off leash dog hours – specific dates/times only, bi-monthly
|| Off leash dog hours – 7-days a week - non-athletic field areas only
|| No off leash dog hours
3. Check box based on your level of concern for each of the considerations below:
||Level of Concern Rating
|| The need for an off leash dog area in Kenwood
|| Potential conflicts with athletic field use
|| Potential vehicle parking/traffic increases
|| Field Condition – Hazards from dogs digging/use during wet conditions
|| Impacts to neighborhood, park users, wildlife, etc…
|| Aggressive dogs, dog fights, conflicts between large dogs & small dogs
|| Responsible actions by dog owners
|| Increased facility costs and wear & tear
Community Meeting #2
Date: Monday, October 5, 2015
Time: 6 - 7 p.m.
Location: Shaw Park, 120 Shaw Avenue, Kenwood
Sonoma County Regional Parks staff will review information and feedback received
to date and share information regarding off leash dog areas in other nearby
Community Meeting #1
On August 10, 2015, over 50 community members attended a meeting at Shaw Park to discuss the elements of an off leash dog area and the pro’s and con’s of potentially designating an area at the park. A wide range of comments were received during the meeting and
are summarized as follows:
- Dogs could interfere with the use of the athletic field or cause damage.
- The field and park was given to the community for youth sports.
- Concerns that Shaw Park could become a dog park destination.
- The park should be focused on the needs of the local neighborhood.
- Aggressive or poorly behaved dogs and the presence of children at the playground.
- Noise from barking or dog owners calling their animals.
- Desire to self police and self regulate uses at park.
- Desire for the County to not enforce the leash law at the park.
Outcomes and Next Steps
on the Shaw Neighborhood Survey Results and Community Meeting on August 10, 2015,
there is significant interest in providing some type of limited Dog off Leash
Hours at the park.
Parks seeks partnership with an organization or group to develop a plan,
budget, and the fundraising necessary to manage a pilot project allowing the
- Community Meeting #2: Monday, October 5, 2015 to review the
information and feedback received to date and share information regarding off
leash dog areas in other nearby jurisdictions.
Off Leash Dog Area Best Practices
Off Leash Dog Areas are
sites that have a shared use with sports or other recreational activities. Dog
off leash utilization is secondary to the primary use(s) of the park.
Conversely, a dog park is exclusively for dog use.
- Hours - sports fields
designated for off leash use are open during hours specified on posted signs.
Sports fields designated for off leash use are closed when players are present
for games, practices, tournaments and when fields are being mowed and
- Boundaries- clear boundaries will be posted
for off leash use. A wood or wire fence with gate will be installed to restrict
pets from any playground or picnic areas. The remainder of the area would
remain open and off leash animals will be required to respond to voice control
and remain on the approved field area during off leash hours.
- Infrastructure – installing and maintaining
signage, dog bag dispenser(s), and regular emptying of trash cans onsite.
- Compatibility -
monitoring of the impacts to field / turf, visitor compliance with posted
hours, feedback from park users and neighbors during the trial period.
- Enforcement – a system to
report and manage owners not watching their dogs, aggressive dogs and the removal
of pet waste. These are common issues with dog off leash areas.
Sample Rules and
Regulations: Off Leash Dog Area
The following rules shall
be followed by all dog owners or custodians utilizing the off leash area.
- Sports field is
designated for off leash use only during specified times posted on signs.
- The off leash hours may
be restricted or modified at any time by Regional Parks or organized sports
groups who have reserved the area. This includes sports activities, practices,
tournaments, field preparations and other maintenance as necessary on the
- Always carry a leash.
Dogs shall be leashed upon entering and leaving off leash dog area.
- Pick up after your dog
and properly dispose of waste in trash cans. Bring extra bags in the event the
bag dispenser is empty.
- Watch your dog. Dog
owners shall keep their dogs in sight and under competent voice control at all
- Dog owners shall remain
with their dogs within the off leash area at all times.
- Any holes dug by dogs
shall be filled by dog owner.
- Aggressive or unruly
dogs, including dogs that play rough, are not allowed.
- Dog owners or custodians
are fully responsible for dogs and their actions.
- No excessive barking.
- No more than 3 dogs per
person allowed in the off leash area.
- Female dogs in heat are
- All dogs must be licensed
with current vaccinations.
Note: Based on research from
the City of Santa Rosa, City of Petaluma and other park agencies with
established off leash dog areas at similar type facilities.