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Bainbridge parks district to hold hearing on off-leash issues

Commissioners for the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District will hold a public hearing next week on off-leash dogs in island parks.

Public comments on a variety of dog-related issues will be welcome, including:

Designating specific hours in parks/trails for dogs to be off-leash;

Allowing dogs to be off-leash in parks/trails if dogs are certified as "good citizens";

Designating Pritchard Park as an off-leash dog area, a change that would require approval from the city of Bainbridge Island;

Providing more fenced areas in parks for off-leash dogs; Developing a large site on Bainbridge for a "first class" off-leash dog park;

Education efforts on why park district policy requires dogs to be on leash;

And enforcement of the district’s leash policy through citations and fines.

Parks officials said the meeting is a follow-up to the hearing that was held May 24 on proposed off-leash dog areas at Battle Point Park. Officials have since shelved plans for an off-leash area at Battle Point Park and are considering other options.

The public hearing is 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 in the mini gym at Strawberry Hill Park.

Park commissioners will not make any final decisions on off-leash issues at the meeting.

Written comments on off-leash issues will be accepted through July 20.

Comments can be sent by email to Perry Barrett at perry@biparks.org, or by mail to Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District, PO Box 10010, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Written comments can also be dropped off at the park district administrative office at Strawberry Hill Park.

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