Thursday, May 13, 2021

Dogs must ‘stay’ on leashes in Plymouth Township park

A small portion of a Plymouth Township park is going to the dogs.

A triangular section of Plymouth Township Park near the intersection of Ann Arbor Trail and Beck Road will be named Golfview Neighborhood Park and will now allow leashed dogs into the area, a direct conflict with a long-standing agreement that has allowed free-range dogs in the park under the watchful eyes of “best friends.” The new designation will make the park eligible to apply for state and federal grants to help fund upgrades, officials said. The new designation could also protect the park section from residential or commercial development, officials added.

Trustees Chuck Curmi and Treasurer Mark Clinton cast dissenting votes on the renaming of the park and they were joined by Trustee Bob Doroshewitz in voting no on an addendum to the motion allowing only leashed dogs to visit the newly-named area. Curmi said that he preferred the off-leash or free range area the park had provided for dogs and owners. The new on-leash rules were approved by a 4-3 vote at the April 27 meeting and will allow dogs on a leash no longer than 10 feet and will be effective for a three-month period. Owners must pick up after their dogs and are responsible for the conduct of the animal.

Clinton expressed his concern about the increased work for the park staff and both he and Curmi asked how the new rules regarding leashes and dog waste were to be enforced.

Township Supervisor Kurt Heise said the park was subject to a renaming and might be the subject of a naming contest in the township. He stressed that this is a pilot program which is not “set in stone” but is a test study.