Dog Exercise Area

The Town is considering installation of an off-leash dog exercise area within the Town.  Consideration of a dog exercise area is in response to a petition from over 300 Town residents asking for an area in Town where dogs can be exercised off leash.

Below is a chronological review of the events and documents associated with consideration of the Dog Exercise Area.  The most recent dates appear at the top.  Links to all the related documents are included at the beginning of this page for quick access.

Abbreviations used in this web page:

  • Dog Exercise Area (DEA)
  • Land Use Committee (LUC)

Related document list:

February 2019

LUC Evaluation of Sites as Dog Exercise Areas

The Town held a public forum on September 26, 2018 to gather resident feedback.  At the public forum and from subsequent resident comments, potential sites in addition to Zimmerman Park were suggested for consideration.   At the request of the Town Council, the Land Use Committee (LUC) was asked to evaluate sites within the Town that might be suitable for use as a dog exercise area (DEA). 

Related documents:

December 2018

December 2018 Town Council meeting

At its December 10, 2018 meeting, the Town Council was informed that the Zimmerman Park water drainage improvement report was completed by the Town’s water engineers and indicated that drainage in the Park could be improved fairly easily.  It was also informed that Council member Kirk Renaud and LUC committee co-chair Lees Hartman met with County MCCPS staff to discuss the possibility of a dog exercise area co-sponsored by the County and Town in either Elm Street Park or Leland Park.  MCCPS staff indicated that use of the Lawton Center tennis courts for a DEA was not a possibility and a DEA elsewhere in Leland Park would be suboptimal due to size limitations.  MCCPS is currently conducting a county-wide study to identify a suitable site for another county dog park and Elm Street Park is one of the sites being studied.  A meeting with staff involved in the dog park study will be scheduled to further explore possibilities. 

December 2018 LUC meeting

At its December 13, 2018 meeting, the LUC was briefed on the meeting with MCCPS staff at which County-Town collaborative DEA projects in Elm Street Park and Leland Park were discussed, the water drainage report on Zimmerman Park, and the rankings of the 9 potential DEA sites.  LUC will prepare a report for presentation at the Town Council’s January 9, 2019 meeting which will summarize its evaluation of the sites  and their rankings.

Related documents:

November 2018

November 2018 Town Council meeting

At its November 14, 2018 meeting, the Town Council was informed that the Zimmerman Park water drainage improvement report should soon be ready.  It was also informed that the LUC is wrapping up a detailed, objective analysis of 9 potential Dog Exercise Area sites in the Town and will soon narrow the list down to 3 or 4 top candidates for additional analysis.

November 2018 LUC meeting

At its November 8, 2018 meeting, the LUC continued its in-depth review of nine potential DEA sites.  Following the continued discussion of the features of the sites, members will revise their ratings of the sites and submit them prior to the Committee’s December meeting at which time it is likely that the Committee will narrow down the potential sites to 3 or 4.

Related documents:

October 2018

October 2018 Town Council meeting

At its October 10, 2018 meeting, the Town Council approved preparation of a water drainage improvement report for Zimmerman Park by its consulting engineer.  The Town Council also tasked the LUC with continued work on the DEA, including conducting a more extensive review of sites within the Town where a DEA might be established. 

October 2018 LUC meeting

At its October 25, 2018 meeting, the LUC began an in-depth evaluation of nine sites.  This was in response to requests at the September 26, 2018 DEA forum to further consider sites other than Zimmerman Park for location of a DEA.  The sites under review include four sites owned by the Town (Rosemary Circle, Rosemary Triangle, Tarrytown Park, and Zimmerman Park) and five owned by the County (Chevy Chase Elementary School athletic field, “The Point” at the back of the CCES athletic field, Lawton Center tennis courts, the area behind the tennis courts along Elm Street, and Elm Street Park).  The LUC reviewed maps and photographs of each site and discussed their features.  The LUC also reviewed a set of 28 criteria to be used to assess a site’s suitability as a DEA site and a scoring and weighting scheme and used these to work through evaluation of the Rosemary Circle site.  Committee members will individually score the remaining 8 potential sites and submit their results before the next meeting, at which time the scoring will be compared and any disagreements discussed.

Related documents:

September 2018 

Notice of Town Forum September 26, 2018

You can learn more and provide feedback about these two proposed Zimmerman Park improvements by attending a forum on Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.  The feedback gathered at the September 26 forum will help the Town understand community sentiment and answer residents’ concerns and comments about the proposed improvements.  After the forum, the Town Council will consider hiring a professional design company to create detailed plans which would then be reviewed with residents at a public hearing later this year.  Any final decisions regarding these improvements would be subject to the public hearing.

September 2018 Land Use Committee meeting

At its September 27 meeting, the LUC reviewed resident comments on the DEA (those sent into the Town and those presented at the September 26 forum). 

Related documents:

July 2018

July 2018 Town Council meeting

At the July 11, 2018 Town Council meeting, the Town’s LUC presented its report on the feasibility of a DEA in the Town.

Related document:

May 2018

May 2018 Town Council Meeting

At the May 9, 2018 Town Council meeting, a group of residents asked the Town to study the feasibility of locating a DEA within the Town and presented a petition with over 300 signatures in support of the request. The residents estimate the number of dogs in the Town to be around 600 and cited the benefits of dog exercise areas and the dearth of such areas in the vicinity of the Town.  The Town Council tasked the LUC with studying the feasibility of establishing a DEA within the Town.

May 2018 LUC Meeting

At its May 24, 2018 meeting the LUC began discussing issues related to establishing a DEA within the Town. Committee members were tasked with researching various key elements.

Related documents: