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Phoenix forms committee to scout dog park location

[Source: Connor Radnovich,]

Photo by Michael Arellano

A new committee will soon be looking into a location for a dog park in Phoenix.

At a Phoenix Board of Adjustment meeting in early November, much of the community supported turning an empty lot near ASU’s Downtown campus into a dog park instead of a parking lot. Because of this response, the city created a committee to explore this issue.

The Ad Hoc Downtown Dog Park Citizens Committee will have its first public meeting Dec. 14 to discuss the placement of a new dog park in the downtown Phoenix area.

City staff have reviewed several sites and will be presenting the potential locations to the committee at the meeting.

“It’s hard to say what the committee will decide,” said Erin Mullarkey, secretary for Parks Development and Planning.

To make any decision, 75 percent of the committee must agree on one location for the park.

So far, only 10 people have confirmed they will be on the committee out of the 70 to 80 people Mayor of Phoenix Phil Gordon nominated.

Those nominated to the committee include ASU students living on the Downtown campus.

Mullarkey said at least half of the nominated people must be on the committee for it to become active.

Gordon will give the committee until Jan. 31 to provide a recommendation to the city. After that date, the committee will be automatically disbanded.  However, the mayor can grant the committee more time.

If the committee does not reach a decision, it is unclear what will happen to the plans for a dog park.

“It may be something staff looks at further down the road,” Mullarkey said.

Many of the community members who attended the Phoenix Board of Adjustment appeal hearing on Nov. 4 hoped the city would build a dog park on a 2-acre empty lot near the Downtown campus.  An abandoned Ramada Inn that previously occupied the lot was torn down earlier this semester.

The appeal was shot down 3-1.

Community activist Sean Sweat has worked toward getting a dog park put in that space to serve nearby dog owners.

“It seemed clear the board wasn’t interested in hearing the facts,” Sweat said.

Community members are working on an appeal to the board’s decision, which will heard by the Maricopa County Superior Court. Sweat is confident they will be successful at the higher level.

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Downtown Phoenix Dog Park Hearing is Thurdsay Nov 4.

A couple of weeks ago, we posted that Downtown Phoenix‘s St Croix Villas needs your help in their quest to see a dog park in downtown Phoenix.

Since them Sean Sweat and his colleagues have collected over 1,100 signatures for their petition and gathered a lot of community support and even some media coverage for the dog park idea.

Public Hearing

This week is the moment that will prove if the support  is enough.  There will be a public hearing with the Phoenix Board of Adjustments this Thursday, November 4th, at 12:00 (noon) at City Council Chambers (round building at 200 W Jefferson St).

Sean is looking for as much support as possible.  Signatures are important, but public turnout is essential to sway the Board, and ultimately City Council.


If you haven’t had the opportunity to sign the paper version in the past 3 weeks, and will not be able to attend the Public Hearing in person, please consider signing this electronic version:

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Want to see a Dog Park in Downtown Phoenix? Then Read This and Act!

Downtown Phoenix‘s St Croix Villas needs your help.  If you like any of the following things, you’ll want to help them:

  • Downtown Vibrancy
  • Pedestrianism
  • Community
  • Dogs


In Phoenix the dogs to humans ratio is slightly more than one dog to every two humans — the Phoenix human population is 1,512,986 and the Phoenix dog population Is 768,000 (according to “Dog Fancy Magazine“).

There are only 5 dog parks in Phoenix. The closest one to downtown is Steele Indian School Park.  Dogs cannot travel on the Light Rail.

Information Session

The  “Ramada Inn Dog Park Endeavor”  will be discussed at Thursday’s (Oct 21st) Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition meeting. The meeting will be at 1817 N 7th St. at 7 p.m. (Phoenix Elementary School District offices, N.E. corner).


Public Hearing

St Croix Villas is challenging the Zoning Hearing Officer’s decision to turn the site of the historic Ramada Inn into a temporary parking lot. The “Notice of Public Hearing” for November 4th at 12:00 is attached.

Notice of Public Hearing


Here is the text of the peition that St Croix Villas is circulating.

Dog_Park_Petition (.doc)

“I, the undersigned, hereby petition the Phoenix City Council to create a public dog park on the northern half of the block formerly filled by the Ramada Inn Phoenix Downtown, a 300 ft x 300 ft property at 401 NORTH FIRST ST., PHOENIX, AZ 85004. The parking lot currently planned to fill this property will add to Phoenix’ heat island effect and will encourage more and excessive downtown automobile traffic. Our property values, and the desirability of our community, are based on both the current and potential ‘pedestrianism’ of downtown.  A new 90,000 sq. ft. parking lot is not needed and will reduce the value of our property and all downtown properties. A dog park balancing a smaller parking lot will mitigate these effects.”

If you would like to see a dog park instead of another parking lot in downtown Phoenix, please print it out and circulate it amongst your office, neighborhood,  friends and/or family.

Contact Sean SweatYuri Artibise, or the DVC to submit completed petitions



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