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Fenced-in area is sought for dogs; Carroll commissioners agree to consider proposal


The Carroll County commissioners agreed yesterday to consider a proposal by dog lovers to create a fenced-in community area where canines could roam free.

Laurie Walters, a Westminster resident and civic activist, has proposed fencing about an acre of little-used land by the Westminster Community Pond.

She made the proposal to the county several months ago, after the Westminster Common Council rejected her request to establish a dog park at a city-owned site on a hillside in King Park, off Chase and Bond streets.

"This park would provide social benefits for people, as well as the dogs," Walters told the commissioners. "It would give people a chance to meet others who have similar interests."

Commissioner Donald I. Dell made a motion to approve the park, but the motion was not seconded. Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said she was not ready to vote on the proposal, and asked for more time to review it.

Walters, co-founder of the Westminster Area Dog Park Association, told the commissioners that the county-owned site is an ideal location for the park.

"The property is in an industrial area," she said. "It isn't near anyone's back yard."

The most vocal opponents of the King Park proposal were neighbors who expressed concern about noise. Several critics also expressed fears that the park would attract irresponsible pet owners who would not clean up after their dogs.

Walters said dog parks in Greenbelt and Gaithersburg have had no such problems.

The proposal for the Westminster Community Pond site has won the support of the recreation advisory board for Westminster, Walters said. Richard Soisson, director of the county Department of Recreation, Parks and Facilities, also endorses the proposal.

"We have no reservations," Soisson said. "We would provide the land and maintain it, as we already do. The association would provide the funding for the fence."

The dog park association has raised about half of the $6,000 that would be needed to erect a 6-foot, double-gated fence around the site.

The group, which has about a dozen members and the backing of the Carroll County Kennel Club and the Carroll County Humane Society, is waiting for approval of a site before trying to raise additional funds, Walters said.

Pub Date: 2/24/99

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