MADISON, NJ - On a rainy night in the midst of the dog-days of summer, several residents attended the August 13 Town Council meeting in support of John Taylor of the Madison Dog Park Committee, who presented the status of the proposed Memorial Park dog park.
Taylor advised the Council that 600 residents have signed a petition in support of the dog park.
The Madison Dog Park Committee was formed in 2013 with the objective of facilitating the town approval, design, and creation of a town dog park.
Taylor stated that there is nowhere in town to let dogs run free. The Dog Park Committee is under the auspices of the Madison Parks Advisory Committee. After an analysis of open areas in Madison, the Dog Park Committee concluded that the optimal area was the picnic area within Memorial Park. The area is approximately ½ acre and, according to Taylor, has several attributes including that it is an area already cleared of trees, it has no viable alternative long-term use, it has ample existing off-street parking, it is not visible from the street, and it does not encroach on any private homes and is 200 feet from any house.
In addition, he stated that the times that the dog park would be most utilized, i.e. in the mornings and evenings, would not interfere with the hours of the nearby Town pool which is used during the day-time hours and only for a few months of the year. He further stated the layout of the dog park is within a Wetlands Buffer Zone, which a dog park has been identified as an acceptable use and that there is also a water line that already accesses the area that can be incorporated.
Carmen Vitale, Town Council member, stated that the Council is committed to understanding the needs of all residents, that there is not much free land available, and that perhaps, after four years, this matter can be “put to rest.” She pointed out the dog park would be fully financed by donations. Council members expressed concerns about pet waste and the effect of aggressive dogs.
Taylor responded that dog owners would continue to use their “social conscience” to handle all of these issues.