Carson City works toward consistent policy for dogs in parks
Carson City is considering drafting a more uniform policy for dogs in its parks and open space.
“I’m suggesting we work to come up with consistency of rules so if I’m at this park or that one the rules are the same,” said Mayor-elect Lori Bagwell, who sits on the Parks and Recreation Commission.
The commission and the Open Space Advisory Committee met Tuesday to hear a presentation on the city’s myriad parks and policies regulating dog use.
Park Rangers John Costello and Tyler Kerver told the members that the city’s inconsistent rules confuse park users and makes it more difficult for the rangers to do their jobs.
“From an enforcement and educational standpoint it would make things easier for us,” said Costello.
The city has 15 parks that allow dogs and six of those require the dogs to be on leash. Two of the parks, Fuji Park and Sonoma Park, are specifically for dogs and their owners and a third is being planned for one of the Lompa Ranch residential developments.
“I like the Fuji Park model,” said Bagwell. “Dogs must be leashed unless in a fenced off area where they can be unleashed.”
The other issue is signage. Mills Park, for example, does not allow dogs but the park has multiple entrances and signage is not always clear. The park accounts for the vast majority of the rangers’ compliance contacts as well.
The two committees agreed to work separately on policies because issues affecting parks are different than problems on open space. Jennifer Budge, director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space, said the department may conduct a public survey as well and then the two committees can meet jointly again to craft a new citywide policy.
The two groups also discussed policy for e-bikes and e-scooters.
Nevada state law treats electric foot scooters and Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes — pedal-assisted and throttle-assisted, respectively, with maximum 20 mph speeds — the same as traditional bikes, allowing them wherever bikes are allowed.
The city may put a temporary moratorium on share programs until it can determine how it wants to handle the programs.
“I like moratoriums for items we know we need six months or so breathing room to do,” said Bagwell.