Park Board Minutes

May 15, 2006

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on May 15, 2006.

  1. Call To Order
    Chairperson Joshua Montgomery called the meeting to order at 6:40 pm.
  2. Roll Call
    Present were Park Board members: Robert Edmonds, Ron Helgeson, Joshua Montgomery, and Richard Niemann. Also present was Hopkins staff liaison Steve Stadler. Robert Edmonds arrived after the approval of the March 20, 2006 minutes.
  3. Approval of Minutes for March 20, 2006
    R. Niemann moved and Ron Helgeson seconded a motion to approve the minutes for the March 20, 2006 meeting. On the vote, the minutes were approved 3-0
  4. Public Meeting on Proposed Dog Park Construction
    Twenty-six residents attended the meeting. Most of the attendees were Meadow Creek Condominium owners opposed to the dog park. On a show of hands, there were seven residents that were in favor of the dog park. The meeting opened with a city staff presentation followed by public input until all in attendance had an opportunity to speak to the Park Board. A majority of those in attendance did speak. A Meadow Creek Condominium (MCC) owner presented a petition opposing the dog park that was signed by 60 MCC residents. A summary of objections to the dog park follows:
    1. MCC owners chose to live in their complex partly because of the no-pet rule and the relatively uninterrupted natural areas across Westbrooke Way. The dog park will introduce many more dogs into the area, lower the value of the natural area by disrupting the wildlife with the dog presence, and negate the natural appearance by introducing a 5' high chain link fence.
    2. Concerned that there will be a parking problem in the summer while the garden plots are being used. The parking demand will exceed the available on-street parking resulting in dog park and garden plot users parking in the nearby MCC parking lots.
    3. The new dog park will add noise to a relatively quiet area.
    4. Concern that MCC owners will lose the use of Westbrooke Way for parking while their parking lots are being plowed in the winter.
    5. Concern that the dog park will pollute nearby Nine Mile Creek.
    6. The dog park fence will hurt users who need the large open green space, i.e., archery, kite flying, model airplane flying, etc.
    The dog park advocates at the meeting stressed that dog parks are relatively passive sites that are well-maintained by the responsible dog owners who use them. Many Hopkins dog owners will benefit from having an off-leash area to exercise their dogs.
  5. Business
    1. Hopkins Dog Park
      After hearing all the public input, the Park Board members felt that more information was needed on the MCC parking concern. Several members agreed to do a random survey on the use of the on-street parking along Westbrooke Way. The survey will be done over the next two months during the 6-7 pm time period. The Board agreed to report on the parking survey results and consider the dog park proposal again at the July 17, 2006 Park Board Meeting. This action was approved on 3-1 vote with Robert Edmonds opposed.
        The Park Board was also interested in trying to get more information on how many Hopkins residents would benefit from a dog park.
    2. 2007-2011 Capital Improvement Plan
      The Board reviewed the proposed park improvement projects. There was mention of a potential future CIP project for land purchase adjacent to Cottageville Park. This would help to open up the park to Blake Road, make it more visible and thereby help reduce the amount of illegal activity in the park.
        There was Park Board-wide support for construction of shuffleboard courts at Burnes Park. Steve Stadler said he'd submit a 2007 project.
    3. Valley Park planting plan
      The Board supports this City-neighborhood partnership to improve the appearance of the park sign with a perennial planting bed around the sign.
        R. Niemann moved and Rob Edmonds seconded a motion of support. The action was approved on a 4-0 vote.
    4. 9-Mile Creek Corridor Improvements
      Steve Stadler presented the proposed improvement plans. The item was informational only and the Park Board generally supported the concept. This item will be considered again in more detail if watershed district funding is approved later this year.
    5. Depot Site Improvement Update and Three Rivers Park District Regional Trail Signage Plan
      Steve Stadler updated the Board on both of these two items-no action required.
  6. Next Scheduled Meeting
    1. June 26, 2006, 6:30 pm
      City Council Chambers
    2. July 17, 2006, 6:30 pm
      City Council Chambers
  7. Adjournment
    R. Niemann moved and R. Edmonds seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion carried on a 3-0 vote. R. Helgeson had to leave the meeting prior to the vote to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 pm.