Parks board unleashes Johnson Lane dogpark |

Parks board unleashes Johnson Lane dogpark

Tennis players enjoy a quiet Wednesday morning in Johnson Lane Park off Stephanie Way in northern Carson Valley. A future dog park would be located to the north of the tennis courts.
Kurt Hildebrand

You know who loves tennis balls? Dogs.

Saying tennis players and dog owners will have to get along, Parks & Recreation commissioners approved a conceptual plan for a dog park at the Johnson Lane Park on Tuesday night.

Timing on construction of the dog park will depend on one question, whether the county’s parks department uses sod or hydroseed.

Community Services Director Scott Morgan estimated sod would cost 20-30 cents a square foot, while hydroseeding would be about 6 cents.

If the county hydroseeds the dogpark, it will take a year before the grass comes in.

“We’d like to roll out the big rolls of sod,” he said.

Morgan said residents were pretty clear about what they wanted in a dogpark.

“A couple of big points that came out of that meeting, was that people wanted turf, more turf, as much turf as we can get,” Morgan said. “We scaled as much turf as our irrigation system can support without putting in booster pumps. We were surprised that based on the pressure, we can have a nice chunk of turf.”

He said he took residents’ suggestion and visited the Sonoma, Calif., dogpark.

“It’s a fantastic park,” he said. “It works with big and small dogs, nice owners and jerk owners. It was really nice, and we did the best we could to model this park after that.”

Four Johnson Lane residents said they liked the layout of the park, but two tennis players among them expressed concern about the proximity of the tennis courts to the dog area.

Lupe Wallace told parks commissioners she thought the dogs in the park would disturb tennis players using the courts.

Morgan said he didn’t think there would be much conflict between the two.

He said his goal is to stay within the $200,000 budget and that could have an effect on the decision with the grass.

“If it’s hydroseeding, we won’t get much use out of it this year,” he said. “We would prefer to get sod in. You don’t have to worry about weeds for a while and you have a nice carpet of turf.”

The park also will use donated sections of the sports turf from Douglas High School’s football field.

That will be used for a path around the park so people don’t have to walk in the mud.

“But if your dog wants to run on grass and pee on grass, we’ve got a lot of grass for you.”

He said there will also be a portion of the park left in native vegetation.

The conceptual design approved on Tuesday night is twice as large as the first design presented to the parks commission.

Funding for the dog park is coming from residential construction tax raised on homes built in the area specifically for parks. The money isn’t permitted for any other use.

The Town of Gardnerville is also working on converting a drainage basin into a dog park across from the Grant Avenue Walmart.

Town Board members discussed a fence and gate with neighboring business owner Barry Jones on Tuesday.

Jones said he would prefer the town didn’t refer to the site as a dog park, because it would limit what he could do with his property.

Jones owns Carson Valley Movers and about two acres on the northwest corner of Highway 395 and Grant Avenue.

At issue for Jones and the town board on Tuesday was access to his business.

The board and Jones are debating where and how much to spend on a gate for his property. The town agreed to pay half of the gate cost, but envisioned paying $1,000-$3,000 for it. Jones provided a $22,000 estimate.

Board members offered to paint the curbs red and put up no parking signs.

However, Chairwoman Linda Slater was firm that the site was a dog park.