Council passes designation of community Dog Park ordinance

by K.J. Lincoln

The Bethel City Council voted to approve the ordinance that would authorize the designation of property for a community dog park.

The proposed ordinance states that Bethel Municipal Code allows the city council to establish one or more dog parks. The City of Bethel re-acquired the lot on Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway next to the public health building and across from Ed’s Auto and QFC #2 known as Lot 15.

Ordinance 17-08 was originally introduced during the February 14th, 2017 meeting by Mayor Rick Robb, which passed on the consent agenda.

The Parks, Recreation, Aquatic Health and Safety Center Committee has already recommended establishing a dog park at this location.

A public hearing for the proposed dog park ordinance took place during the Feb. 28th council meeting.

Sam White, the Development Specialist of Orutsararmiut Native Council Housing, spoke about Ord. 17-08 during the April 11th, 2017 regular city council meeting during People to be Heard.

ONC is still in favor of the dog park as long as the easement to the ONC subdivision will not be affected.

ONC is planning an 18-acre subdivision.

“The intent is not to stop the ONC development,” said Mayor Rick Robb.

An amendment was made to the ordinance that stated that the City has previously supported granting a non-exclusive easement across a portion of the land to allow ONC access to their proposed subdivision and that the designation of the land for a dog park shall not interfere with or take away the City’s intent to grant the non-exclusive easement should ONC’s proposed subdivision come to fruition.

The final concurrence has to come from the Bureau of Land Management said City Attorney Patty Burley. For the land to become a dog park is dependent upon their approval.

The previous concerns regarding insurance and flooding have also been resolved, Burley said.

The amendment to the ordinance and the main motion both passed unanimously, 4-0. Voting were Mayor Robb, and council members Leif Albertson, Norman Ayagalria, and Alisha Welch.