PLAINVILLE - Neighbors of the proposed dog park at Norton Place Extension oppose the plan, arguing that it is closer to homes than the Dog Park Committee has claimed and would be more disruptive.
Danielle and Ray Roux live next door to the proposed park and their home is visible through the trees surrounding it. Blocking this view with a fence, they say, is not nearly enough to mitigate their concerns.
“It is within 166 feet of our home, which we bought 28 years ago,” said Danielle Roux. “How many people want to have a dog park within 166 feet of their home? And a fence doesn’t stop the dog barking. With the petition that the Dog Park Committee has started it feels like they are trying to bully us into moving further away.”
Ray Roux said he is concerned about the closeness of the park. “We didn’t take the buyout (from the town due to the area being identified as a flood plain) because we wanted to live in a peaceful area,” he said. “There were only four people living on this part of the road until recently, not 22 like the Dog Park Committee claims. If 15 people and their dogs come through each day that will be a big increase in traffic.
“The Dog Park Committee also says that they are the majority, but that doesn’t give them the ability to take our rights away. Having a dog park here could alienate 30 percent of the buyer market if we ever decide to sell our house.”
A neighbor of the Roux family, Cindy Rogers, said she is surprised that “the town even considered a spot in their backyard as a proposed site.”
“It is so disrespectful to these homeowners,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t want there to be a dog park, I just don’t want to see it in the backyard of a residential area. This family now has to be concerned about being surrounded by strangers daily and nightly.”
Karen Milardo, another neighbor who has written to the Town Council in opposition to the park, raised concerns that she has with the site.
“A lot of people will be able to hear the dogs barking and there are 86 homes within a half-mile,” she said.
Milardo added that she has walked to the area around the proposed dog park site three times a week and has seen beer bottles, heroin bags and used condoms.
“We see them all throughout the area,” she said. “We’ve recognized them even before the dog park issue and believe that this problem will only increase with it.”
Danielle Roux said “The dog park committee has argued that these issues will go away with more people coming through, but the dog park will only be active during the day.”
A check with the Plainville Police Department’s records division revealed that, according to Renee Erb, “there have been no major crimes in that area within the last two years.”
The dog park issue has been a controversial topic on the Facebook group Plainville Talks.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.