Dog park project approved for downtown Bethesda location

Maryland

BETHESDA, Md (WDVM) – A new dog park project has been approved in downtown Bethesda, located at Norwood Local Park.

The park would have two enclosed spaces for large and small dogs to run and play off-leash, totaling about 18,000 square feet of space.

This plan was not discussed without resistance from community members.

“Results of the open town hall survey showed 55% of respondents in opposition and 45% in support,” Montgomery Parks Architect Christie Ciabotti said.

The Montgomery County Planning Board took public comment on the proposal on Thursday, and heard concerns about noise, safety, the usage of the space and parking.

“The community has spoken, people don’t want a dog park in the middle of Norwood Local Park,” resident Elaine Akst said. “Any report that reccommends it is not looking at the data.”

A majority of comments given were in opposition to the dog park, but resident Kat Atwater was in favor, excited for her dog Echo to have a place to play.

“Some people have children, I have Echo,” she said. “While I know it’s not the same thing, I too should have a space in this county near my home where the park’s amenities can serve me, leveraging my own tax dollars.”

The board voted and the plan was approved unanimously, with future plans for a separate project to alleviate parking issues near the area.

This will be the 12th dog park built within Montgomery County.

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