By careful planning you will ensure any fenced off-leash area is a success and importantly supported by the local community.
Councils need to clearly understand how fenced off-leash areas fit into their overall provision for dog owners and their dogs. A number of provision options should be considered including on-leash only areas; unfenced off-leash areas; fully or partially fenced off-leash areas; and of course, there will be areas where it is inappropriate for dogs to access. These may include waterways, wetlands, and sensitive flora and fauna areas.
Councils must not feel under pressure to install fenced off-leash areas because other councils are doing this. Rather, councils need to fully understand the issues and implications associated with fenced areas.
As a community member, it is important that you understand the complexity of the issues that your local council has to deal with when planning this type of facility and the process the council needs to work through.
If you want your council to consider a new fenced off-leash area it is important that both supporters, and those who are not convinced a fenced off-leash area is a good idea be involved in planning process. You should not go about this process alone – get it wrong and you may get people off-side! Get it right and it will be a safe and worthwhile opportunity.
In terms of a possible site you cannot assume the park down the road will be the most suitable site. There may be a number of reasons why this is the case, but you may not be aware of them. The range of issues that need to be considered in choosing a site include the proximity of residential properties, the availability of car parking, profile of the site (safety), and other activities competing for space in the park.