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Dog Park Proposal Presentation on Monday

September 23, 2020 :: Latest News

A Foxfield homeowner has asked the Home Owners Association to build a dog park on Foxfield property. The cost may be high enough to require the Board of Directors to seek and receive homeowner approval before proceeding with construction, should the Board approve the project. On Monday the Board will present proposal details to the community, to include the project’s stated benefits as well as the Board’s unanswered questions and concerns. A question-and-answer session will follow the brief presentation. All Foxfield homeowners are invited to attend.

Location:              Stringfellow Road tennis courts, near the swimming pool
Date:                     Monday, Sept. 28
Time:                     7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

[Note that the start time was originally stated to be 7:00 p.m. but has been delayed slightly in observance of Yom Kippur.]

Please note that no voting will take place at the presentation, as its only purpose is to present information. The question-and-answer session will be moderated.

26 Comments to “Dog Park Proposal Presentation on Monday”
  1. Sanj Siva says:

    Here are the responses provided to the questions regarding the Dog Playground by the playgroup:

    [Moderator note: Link removed because the document referenced by the poster misstates and rewords the Board’s questions and concerns, which are listed on this web page. Poster is invited to submit a new document that corrects these deficiencies.]

    The Foxfield Dog Playgroup has organically grown via text messages to about 75-80 members and has really brought the community together in a nice way. There are many more dog owners in Foxfield who have expressed an interest in joining.

    The group is simply asking for a safe place for our dogs to run, play and exercise.

    Several members received tickets – a misdemeanor – from on animal control officer who used to live in Foxfield in the 90s and was responsible for the amendment that allows the County to come here and give tickets:

    • Sanj Siva says:

      Here is a link to the updated document.

      We responded to the questions sent to us by the management company and changed the word “Park” to “Playground” because we proposed a playground, not a park.
      The misinformation and the use of the word ‘park’ has caused a lot of unnecessary concern and angst amongst many of the residents.

    • Benjamin Kagan says:

      Fairfax County has a leash law which probably resulted in the receipt of tickets.

  2. John DiMarco says:

    We have lived in Foxfield, except from 1996-2000, since its inception in 1987. During these 28 years, we have seen the neighborhood grow and evolve. During most of these years, we have had dogs as pets and have taken advantage of the many trails and open areas to walk and have our dogs get exercise, all the while on a leash and abiding by local animal control laws. We have also visited the area’s dog parks – the one out by Westfield HS and larger ones like the one in Shirlington. Our feelings about dog parks is that they do provide some place for your pet to get exercise. If you live in an urban environment where open space is at a premium, they make sense. Here, in our ‘hood, with all of the open spaces and trails that exist, the dog park does not make sense. The cost of construction and ongoing maintenance outweigh the benefits. I do not want my HOA fees to increase because of a dog park. I realize having your dog off a leash so that they can “act like a dog with other dogs” is a fun time, but we have witnessed our dog and other dogs not playing well together while visiting the local dog parks. There is a lot more liability with a dog park than one may realize, especially if you leave it open for all citizens. Our vote would be NO for a dog park.

  3. Omid Mansoory says:

    I live on Mazewood Ln and my house is backing the proposed site for the dog park – we should have the first and last say as we are effected a lot than other residents – my vote is NO for a dog park.

  4. Fatima Raza says:

    This is a unnecessary approach to a clean and spacious neighborhood provided to the living residents. I live on Mazewood Ln and my house is backing the proposed site for the dog park. This space should be left alone as it is not safe due to the pipeline gas beneath it as well. I say NO for this Dog park. We already have open trails which dogs utilize. I do not want the increase in HOA fees as I personally will never use it for that purpose and it is not fair.

  5. Badri says:

    Yeah…how about no?b

  6. Zenat Raza says:

    I absolutely disagree with this proposal. I have been living here for three years and would never think to relocate because of the beautiful and mainted backyard. I say NO! This has made me very furious because I do not want the unnecessary increase of HOA fees and the rush it will bring in to the neighborhood. This neighborhood has a lot of young children who love to ride their bikes, run and walk on the sidewalks by the road. I think too much traffic would make it very unsafe. Let’s spend the money where it is actually needed!

  7. Navi says:

    I believe this proposal is very unnecessary. We already have such a nice, clean neighborhood and we do not need a dog park just to complicate things. People might not even clean up after their dogs. There’s no need to make a dog park. There are designated areas where people can take their dogs throughout the city that are animal friendly, and having it in such a peaceful, clean neighborhood is unwanted. My answer is a NO. There’s no need to raise HOA fees at a time like this.

  8. Tabeer says:

    Absolutely not in favor of this. It’s a peaceful neighborhood and would not let a dog park ruin the peace of the neighborhood.

  9. Liza Walizada says:

    I am NOT in favor of this new proposal for a dog park!!! It will cause a disturbance in our neighborhood!!! Let’s keep it safe and clean.

  10. Benjamin Kagan says:

    . I have been following the discussions regarding the dog park proposal but I will not be able to attend the meeting tomorrow night because it is the end of Yom Kippur. I do have a few concerns that I hope you could relay to the HOA board and homeowners. My concerns are mainly the environmental impact that the park will have on the retaining pond or the creek at the secondary site. It is not clear based on the proposal documents that Sanj Silva had provided to us residents via Facebook that the people who did the “legwork” actually talked to the right people and actually had the County or the Chesapeake Bay Watershed official come out and study the impact that putting in a fence and allowing dogs to run free and urinate (feces will hopefully be picked up) will have on the environment. The fact that the “official” they talked to did not come out and see the sites but called it a non disturbing event is ridiculous. If you disturb the soil even just by putting in posts for a fence and provide an area that will end up trampling down the grass and therefore expose the top soil, it will create a certain amount of runoff into the retaining pond and the creek behind the pool both of which are feeding into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Every spring the retaining pond is home to migrating red-winged blackbirds who nest and start their families. What impact would human interference on the area next to the pond have on them or other wildlife that live in and around that area, as well as the creek behind the pool? Actual engineers and environmental scientists need to come out and study the impact. Finally, the idea that the board and the HOA members should vote on the idea of a dog park before the feasibility study has actually been done does not make any sense whatsoever. It seems more like a political move to me for those who are in favor of building the dog park and getting their ideas/efforts approved with the minimum amount of votes needed. I feel that the feasibility of the proposed sites, and the proposal should be more complete, and that the homeowners impacted by the possible noise be considered before a vote should be taken on the dog park. The concept should not be voted on, but the actual final product should be voted on with all members of the community being educated.

  11. Kamal M. says:

    I am opposed to the dog park/playground due to increased HOA fees, liability, noise, excessive foot traffic and car traffic, and parking issues. During the hot days of summer, the dog urination can create unpleasant odors for surrounding homes and ETC.
    I totally agree with the above opinions that oppose the dog park / playground.

    • Cynthia says:

      Yes, to everything Kamal just said. Well, pretty much everything everyone has said in opposition to this. It’s not needed. It’s not like it’s 75 people who want this. It’s a handful of people who like to take their dog off leash in the field behind my house (Mazewood Lane). A former neighbor did a lot of complaining and harassing and these folks got ticketed and the police were watching for a bit. This spot is the exact spot they took their pups during that situation. I love dogs. I have a dog. I prefer dogs to humans. We don’t need a dog playground. We have wide open spaces that are amazing and for everyone to use. A fenced in area would be an eye sore and unfair to others who want to play in that space. We have so many areas to walk our dogs on a leash. I know I take advantage of those spaces frequently. If you want a puppy playground, take your dogs and your group to a dog park or use your own backyard. Those are great places. Our neighborhood does not need this and it’s going to cause a huge amount of problems.

  12. Katrina C. says:

    Our home is on Mazewood Lane, our street backs up to the pond. I understand the argument some people have about the other ammenties not being for/utilized by all residents. However, I would not buy a home near a dog playground, just as I would not buy a home that backs to the pool. Therefore, I think is unfair to those of us that bought our homes near the proposed sight to have the area changed in a significant way. I am concerned with the extra noise and people not cleaning up after their dogs as they walk home. I definitely do not want incresed noise in the area. Even without a dog playground we are sometimes woken by barking dogs on the trails and we go through seasons where we find a lot of poop left in the green area on our street that the kids play on as well as in our yard. I am sure most Foxfield residents clean up after their pets, however the dog playground will draw people in from other Neighborhoods who may not be as respectful or considerate to people living near the dog playground.

  13. Claudia Carr says:

    I am against this dog park project.

  14. Gongjun Li says:

    I sat the meeting we had last night. Many points from dog park supporters are based on their guessing and feeling without evidence and data support.

    1. Dog park will benefit to the residents in the community, such as property value increase.

    The cost and long term maintenance including the insurance for a Dog park in our community will increase HOA fee remarkably for all the owners. No doubt the high HOA fee will block the new buyers. Without competitive buyers, how come we conclude that this facility will increase the value of our property? Even though this facility might be a thing for the dog owners, what proportion of the houses can be in favor of those dog owners, which might result in a property value increase as the faraway houses are out of their consideration? We need data to convince people, not just saying that.

    2. Dog park can help people do social and improve the cohesion in the community.

    I agree that some dog owners would talk and share some information using dog as an excuse when their dogs meet together, which might be different from those meeting in the street without a pet. I have to say there are a lot of ways for people to do social, know more community residents and even make new friends, such as creating some hobby clubs and taking volunteer service as well as taking part in our community events. Dog and dog park is not an essential way for them to do social. Some people, who are good at social and enjoy social, can always know new people and make new friends while other people just enjoy staying alone or with their family even though they have a dog. We have to say that sexual harassment and criminal is everything in our world and some of dog owners might become the victims in the dog park though I really hope it never take place in our community. How come we conclude it really helps people do social and improve the cohesion in our community and we have to have one.

    3. The waste the dogs create does not matter.

    It is true that nobody complains about and blames the deers and other wild animals, but we have to realize that those wild animals are out of our control and live in a different place from people. To imagine that the wild animals come to your place 7 days a week and barking, howling, peeing, pooing or whatever from the early morning til late evening, do you really not care about it? We are creating this scenario in our community to let a lot of dogs come to a small dog park fighting, barking and polluting our environment.

    4. The community pays a lot of money for the swimming pool that I do not use any more and it is reasonable for our community to build a dog park for our pets.

    I know some dog owners view their pets as kids, but to be realistic, we have to say they are different. We build swimming pool to serve the civilized people, especially the kids, the future of our nation. They are two totally different subjects we are serving and we would like to place our kids at a higher priority when spending our money.

    5. The swimming pool is very noisy in the summer and the neighborhood do not care about more noise if we build a dog park nearby.

    Again we would like to sacrifice and endure the music and the noise the kids make as it is a very important recreation spot in our community and additionally it happens only in the summer. On the other side, we go to the swimming pool sometimes, which is also a convenience to us to live nearby. The dog park is a totally different story. Are you really cruel enough to make our neighborhood a noise polluted center with an additional dog park?

    6. Dog park does not get rise to the parking problem.

    In the summer the park lot in our community is really full with some tennis players and swimmers. It is not realistic that all the dog owners walk their dogs to the dog park under any circumstance, anytime, at any season and of any weather. Maybe you can guarantee you can do it, how about hundred of other dog owners of different ages?

  15. Ling N. says:

    A dog playground will attract more dogs. There are dog owners who do not let their dogs run off-leash outside of a dog park. There are dog owners now who do, and they do so at various open spaces around the neighborhood, not just at the site of the proposed playground. A dog playground will attract them all to the same location. It is reasonable then to think there will be more visits in both number and frequency, with a commensurate increase in noise and turf damage. A dog playground also makes our neighborhood more desirable to dog owners. For the years I’ve lived here, the most aggravating issue is dog poop left on my lawn. I am not eager to see more dogs than the average neighborhood.

  16. Sanj Siva says:

    There were questions about the size of the area. For reference, I measure the retaining pond and it is about the same area: See image.

    We picked that size as a reasonable size, but, given the concerns about the size, we will make it smaller.

  17. Sanj Siva says:

    First, thank you to the Foxfield board for taking the initiative to hold the townhall meeting about the dog playground proposal. We appreciate the effort, the turnout and the open discussion.

    The dog playgroup has not met since Dec 2019. We went to the board in Jan and submitted the proposal after that; then COVID hit. The reserve study results came after that too.

    We think that what we are requesting has been blown WAY out of proportion due to misunderstanding our intent. This was meant to be a positive, additional amenity for our community, just like the pool, tot lots, basketball and tennis courts. We share the costs of all of those and we are just asking for a new amenity that a significant subset of the residents can benefit from and enjoy, just like the others.

    To put things in perspective, the playgroup consists of upstanding residents and their families, with kids in strollers, etc., who use the playgroup as an opportunity to socialize as well. That’s the real benefit – bringing the community together! Right now, we could choose to go to that same field on any given day and meet with our dogs – on leash – and that would be completely legitimate. So, the only difference is that we are asking for a fence to be put in so that we can legally let our dogs run and exercise also, while we gather and socialize. That’s it. That’s all we are asking for.

    We are not going to do anything differently than we’ve been doing in the past, but now, being fenced in, it will even be safer for everyone else who is nearby.

    In the ~15 years we’ve been doing this, all of the concerns about noise, urine, feces, water runoff, damage to the grass, etc., have not manifested or materialized.
    We really don’t believe that putting in a fence, further away from the homes than where we have been playing, will change that.

    • Cynthia says:

      How is it safer? You dogs are off leash, which is against the law. So you are implying having your dogs off leash now is unsafe? I’m all for you meeting, on leash and at no cost to me or anyone else.

    • Omid says:

      Regardless of the size and location, majority of the residents are NOT in favor of the dog park/playground. Considering all legitimate reasons shared by folks above, HOA Is kindly requested to dismiss the proposal.

  18. Cynthia says:

    I am curious why all of his is happening on a facebook page, which is not official and which Curt Gachner feels he can block people from information. What is going on?

    • Scott says:

      Obviously, many people are on Facebook and many people have joined the “Foxfield Facebook page.” As you know, though, the site does not represent the HOA and it makes clear that it is not to be considered a source of official information. The HOA Board is not involved with the FB page, who is allowed to join it, or what information is or is not censored. Individual board members who interact with FB are speaking or acting strictly for themselves and are not representing the Board or the HOA.

      • Denise says:

        You might want to remind them of the fact that they are not official. Have you been on that FB page? Some of the members who are also on the board seem to think this is official.

  19. F.G. says:

    I disagree.
    This is not like the pool or playground.
    HOA should not proceed without homeowners’ approval.

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