Dog off-leash area review

The Park Board is reviewing its dog park off-leash areas network. Be part of the conversation.

Many people value the opportunity to exercise and socialize their dogs off-leash. Therefore, the Vancouver Park Board provides 36 designated off-leash areas, six of which are fenced.

The board has received many comments about off-leash areas, ranging from worries that lack of fencing or separation may lead to conflicts with other park activities, to concerns that current off-leash area locations and hours are not satisfying demand.

As a result, the board is currently exploring ways of improving the off-leash area network.

Progress with this initiative

Park Board continues to receive feedback

April 2014 – Although there have been some unanticipated delays, the Park Board has continued to collect and review all public feedback received on this matter and remains committed to identifying priority improvements to the dog off-leash area system. This process will include opportunities for public input.

Dog off-leash area guidelines approved

July 23, 2012 – The Park Board approved dog off-leash area guidelines at today's meeting. The approved guidelines included a ‘fencing’ guideline that was amended in response to public feedback.

View the approved guidelines, along with a summary of results from the online forum on draft guidelines, in the Details tab.

Read the dog off-leash areas report  (46 KB)

Approved guidelines for dog off-leash areas

Location

Dog off-leash areas should be conveniently located across the city, providing for both neighbourhood and destination use. Off-leash areas should be carefully located within parks, considering other park uses and environmentally sensitive areas.

Rules

Dog off-leash areas should be available all day for off-leash use. The Park Board and Animal Control should continue to work together to decrease conflicts.

Communication

Websites and signage concerning dog off-leash area locations, boundaries, and rules should be clear and easy to understand.

Design

Dog off-leash areas should be attractive to dogs and dog owners, and constructed with durable, dog-friendly materials.

Fencing

Fencing or natural barriers should be used to reduce conflict, prioritizing high-conflict areas and ensuring appropriate fencing and separation for each park. (This guideline was amended to reflect public feedback.)

Draft guidelines online forum summary of results

Draft guidelines were posted to an online forum for the public to vote "agree" or "disagree" and to comment on each guideline from June 5 to July 4, 2012.

Comments were visible to all users, allowing for discussion between participants. Comments were also welcomed through email or by letter to the Park Board. The online forum was advertised through social media, City webpages, seven local newspapers, and a CBC Radio interview.

542 comments were made by 286 forum participants, in addition to 40 emails and 3 letters. The percentages of "agree" votes from the online forum are listed below to show support for the draft guidelines:

  • Communication guideline (98% agree)
  • Location guideline (95% agree)
  • Rules guideline (94% agree)
  • Design guideline (92% agree)
  • Fencing guideline (62% agree)

23 July 2012

Dog off-leash area guidelines approved

At the 23 July 2012 Board Meeting, the Board approved dog off-leash area guidelines. The approved guidelines include a ‘Fencing’ guideline that was amended to respond to public feedback.

Read the Board Report

Next steps

Staff will be coming back to the Board in 2013 with a report on the next steps, including a public consultation strategy for identifying priority projects and improvements to the off-leash area network. 

All comments received during the online forum and those received since spring 2011 will be included in upcoming work. 

In addition to media and signage, any next steps will be posted on this webpage and e-mailed to all online forum participants and to the dog off-leash area mailing list (please e-mail pbcomment@vancouver.ca to be added).

All comments received through the forum, e-mail and mail have been made available to the Board.  Many thoughtful and constructive comments were submitted and will be included in upcoming work on identifying specific projects and improvements.

Approved guidelines for dog off-leash areas

Location

Dog off-leash areas should be conveniently located across the city, providing for both neighbourhood and destination use. Off-leash areas should be carefully located within parks, considering other park uses and environmentally sensitive areas.

Rules

Dog off-leash areas should be available all day for off-leash use. The Park Board and Animal Control should continue to work together to decrease conflicts.

Communication

Websites and signage concerning dog off-leash area locations, boundaries and rules should be clear and easy to understand.

Design

Dog off-leash areas should be attractive to dogs and dog owners, and constructed with durable, dog-friendly materials.

Fencing

Fencing or natural barriers should be used to reduce conflict, prioritising high conflict areas and ensuring appropriate fencing/separation for each park.
NOTE: This guideline was amended to reflect public feedback.

Online forum results (summarised from July 23 Board Report)

Draft guidelines were posted on an online forum which enabled the public to vote ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ and comment on each guideline from 5 June to 4  July. 

Comments were visible to all users, allowing for discussion between participants.  Comments were also welcomed through e-mail or by letter to the Park Board. The online forum was advertised through social media, City webpages, seven local newspapers and a CBC radio interview. Advertisement for coming consultation on specific projects and improvements will include signs in parks.

542 comments were made by 286 forum participants, in addition to 40 e-mails and 3 letters.  The percentages of agree votes from the online forum are listed below to give an indication of support for the draft guidelines:

  • Communication guideline (98% agree)
  • Location guideline (95% agree)
  • Rules guideline (94% agree)
  • Design guideline (92% agree)
  • Fencing guideline (62% agree)

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Email: pbcomment@vancouver.ca

Last modified: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:33:30