Seattle Parks Acting Superintendent approves temporary off-leash area at Denny Park

Acting Seattle Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams has approved the creation of a temporary off-leash area in Denny Park, 100 Dexter Ave. N.

Williams’ decision follows a recommendation from the Board of Park Commissioners at its Thursday, November 3, 2011 meeting. Parks’ North Parks Downtown Plan ( calls for one or two off-leash areas in the South Lake Union/Denny Triangle area, and the need has been accelerated by the construction of dog-friendly apartments and condominiums in the neighborhood and the move of the dog-friendly to the area.

“This temporary off-leash area in Denny Park illustrates the need for Parks and Recreation to change with evolving recreation needs,” Williams said. “Parks are not static; changing needs and demographics call for flexibility in how we use our active spaces and vigilance in preserving our passive open spaces. We’re also pleased with the collaborative partnership emerging from generous donations from Vulcan Real Estate and to build and maintain the temporary off-leash area.”

Parks staff identified three possible temporary off-leash sites, Denny Park, Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N, and Cascade Playground, 333 Pontius Ave. N.

The Denny Park temporary off-leash area will be located in the north-central sector of the park and will be fenced. It will be available for use when the park is open, 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.

The Superintendent also approved the conditions recommended by the Park Board for the temporary off-leash area:

• Costs of construction and maintenance must be funded with non-public money.

• If no more funding is available at the end of three years, Parks will close the temporary off-leash area.

• Parks will develop criteria for evaluating how the temporary off-leash area is working.

• Parks will evaluate how the temporary off-leash area is working nine months after it opens, and bring that evaluation to
the Park Board.

• Parks will continue to work to identify a site for a permanent off-leash area in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

• Parks will protect the rest of Denny Park from off-leash activity and will emphasize with dog owners the need to respect
the site.

• Parks will provide the Park Board with an estimate of the cost of restoring the site when the temporary off-leash site

• Ensure that Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) provides stewardship of the site.

Next steps are to send legislation accepting the donated funds to the City Council for its consideration, and to plan for the fencing, surface and other features of the temporary off-leash area.