By ED SALVAS
ASBURY PARK – Asbury Park dog lovers are moving forward with plans for a new dog park where they can gather and exercise their pooches.
Their first plan, for a dog park in Library Square Park between Asbury and First Avenues, drew such vehement opposition from neighbors that they gave up on it. Now they’re back with a new plan for a park to be created in a portion of Sunset Park between Fifth and Sunset Avenues.
Word of the new plan came in a letter from the office of City Manager Terry Reidy mailed to area residents, landlords and business owners inviting them to a meeting in the City Council Chambers on Thursday, June 6 at 7-PM to see the details of the park plan and offer their feedback.
“No decision or formal announcement has been made. As a matter of fact, this letter is the first information of any kind that has been released.” Reidy adds, “While we think that we have found a location that will not disrupt our neighborhood or interrupt the use of the park, we are asking you to join us for a ‘first look’ at the proposed location and design before we go any further.
“City Councilwoman Sue Henderson, a dog owner and the spokeswoman for the dog park advocates, said the June 6 meeting will include a Power-Point presentation of the park’s design which was done by Ocean Township Landscape Architect Ray Hodnet who volunteered his time for the project. Henderson said the park will be located on the Fifth Avenue side of Sunset Park and will have two separate areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, and will be completed in three phases, the first will involve the installation of a fence and gates.
Calling Asbury Park a “dog community,” Henderson said the park design is meant to fall in line with Asbury Park founder James Bradley’s plan for parks within the city so it blends in with the surroundings. She’s been working with a seven-member committee on a proposed budget for the dog park and hopes they’ve thought of all the possible objections.
City Manager Reidy says it’s critical that residents living closest to the park have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposal. He says it’s a first public step in the process and that the citizen committee behind the dog park is open to all ideas and suggestions.
– Read this and other exclusive stories in this week’s issue of The Coaster, on newsstands now. Pictured above is an adoptable pet from the Associated Humane Societies in Tinton Falls; find others here.