FRAMINGHAM – The 11-member Framingham City Council will hold a public hearing on March 31 to decide if a Framingham Dog Park Commission should be created.
Earlier this month, FramBark President Shannon Stevens submitted a petition signed by 175 individuals, requesting the legislative branch of the City of Framingham form the Commission.
The City Council voted last night, February 25 to hold the public hearing on the petition.
The Dog Park Commission’s purpose would be to “identify suitable public property for a dog park, outline a masterplan for its implementation, including a detailed budget, and recommend policies and procedures for its operation,” stated the petition.
If passed the Dog Park Commission would be seven members, including the chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission who would serve as the chair of the Dog Park Commission.
Other members would include President of FramBark (Stevens), Chair of the Framingham Conservation Commission, Chair of the City Council’s Economic Development subcommittee (District 4 Councilor Michael Cannon), the City Clerk, a dog owner appointed by City Council chair George P. King, and a Framingham veterinarian appointed by the Mayor.
In September 2015, Stevens formed FramBark to create a dog park in the Town of Framingham.
“I started FramBARK with a vision of a dog park that would give dogs a safe place to play, to meet members of the community, provide local business opportunities. We leave the city of Framingham with research, grant opportunities and plans, and we hope that our officials will eventually realize the value of establishing a dog park,” she said in December 2019.
But in December 2019, Stevens said the group was disbanding, as the City of Framingham had yet to move forward with a dog park.
Encouraged by District 4 City Councilor Cannon, a dog owner, the group created a petition to try one more time to get a dog park in Framingham.
There are almost 4,500 licensed dogs in Framingham.
“Our- furry friends bring joy, companionship, and happiness to its residents” and “dogs need to exercise and socialize to remain healthy and productive,” stated the petition submitted to the City Clerk on Valentine’s Day.
The 175 signatures were collected in one week, said Stevens.
“According to the City Charter, we were required to submit 100 signatures to get in front of City Council for them to vote on a public hearing,” said FramBark president.
If the Commission is formed by the City Council, it is to deliver its “report, along with detailed recommendations, to the Mayor and Council within 90 days of its formation.”
“We were hoping to get a public hearing sooner but the scheduling just didn’t work until 3/31,” said FramBark.
“We do want as many supporters to be present at the 3/31 City Council meeting, as possible,” said FramBark.