BG council drafts ordinance for dog park


City council on Monday introduced an ordinance that would allow the city to enter into a lease agreement for a new dog park located at Ridge Park.

The idea of a new dog park in the city has received serious discussion at public meetings since at least 2022. There is a dog park currently located in the city – the Wood County Dog Park, at 1912 E. Gypsy Lane Road – but concerns have been voiced that that facility isn’t easily accessible for some residents and the desire was expressed for a park within walkable distance.

City council has designated $150,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds towards such a project. The Citizens for BG Dog Parks organization, now called BG Dog Parks Inc., has been among those working on the issue; the group’s board president, Wendy Manning, recently announced at a council meeting that the group has been incorporated as a legal entity.

Council’s Parks, Recreation, Public Lands and Buildings Committee met March 18 to discuss the potential lease.

If approved, the dog park would be located in the northern portion of Ridge Park. Among the provisions in the proposed lease agreement between the city and BG Dog Parks Inc., the group “shall be solely responsible for infrastructure improvements to the premises for its intended use as a dog park, including but not limited to installation of utilities (water, sewer, electric and gas), fences, water fountains, walkways and trash receptacles.”

Further, the three-year lease would be at the price of $1 per year, payable in advance. The group must also provide the city with an escrow deposit of $3,000 to “ensure that the dog park facilities and grounds, including fencing and other site improvements, are installed and adequately maintained.” Additionally, the group would be responsible “for the continued maintenance and repair of the dog park infrastructure and the grounds therein including litter clean-up, lawn mowing, snow and ice removal, line-trimming and the removal of fecal matter from the dog park left by participating dogs.”

During lobby visitation, BG resident Thomas O’Brien took issue with the proposed location of the dog park, arguing among his points that Ridge Park was developed as a park for children, and that a number of his dog-owning friends have said that they already had fenced-in yards and would be unlikely to use the park.

“The existing facilities – Wood County Dog Park – should be used and perhaps others should be investigated, but kids’ play areas should not be sacrificed for dog parks,” he said.

In other business, the council:

• Introduced a resolution providing for a vision zero commitment to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries that are a result of crashes on city streets by 2045. According to a legislative package document prepared for council, Bowling Green and the Wood County Engineer’s Office have partnered with Lucas, Ottawa and Sandusky counties, as well as Toole Design, a Vision Zero consultant, “to develop a Northwest Ohio Safe Streets for All Action Plan. The grant application, due in May, will be regional in scope and the Wood County portion of the scope will likely include pedestrian and/or bicycle safety infrastructure improvements.

• Introduced an ordinance amending portions of the city’s codified ordinances to mirror state law and clarify local laws after the recent changes in the state of Ohio’s marijuana laws which were approved by voters in November. Among the proposed changes, according to the legislative package document, are “language modifications to provide consistency for citations, removal of sections that prohibited possession to align with that which is allowed by the state, and amending the city’s Clean Air Act to prohibit smoking of marijuana in the same circumstances where tobacco is prohibited.”

“The whole point of this is to bring our statute in line with that of the Ohio Revised Code,” said City Attorney Hunter Brown during Monday’s meeting. “There’s nothing in here that’s different than the Ohio law,” or goes further than the Ohio law, Brown said later.

• Heard that the Finance Committee will meet April 15 at 6 p.m. to receive the first quarter finance review.

• Heard that the Transportation and Safety Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. April 15 to hold a public hearing on the vision zero commitment resolution.

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