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Published February 8th, 2017
Plans for improved dog park unleashed at Lafayette's Deer Hill development
A sample of dog park recyclable artwork. No fire hydrant art allowed. Photos courtesy Lafayette Parks, Trails and Recreation department

Not only humans are debating the merits of a passive or active city park but canines may soon face the same quandary over a proposed park of their own.
Part of the development plan for the Homes at Deer Hill project in eastern Lafayette includes construction of a dog park with limited amenities. But by using funds accumulated through its recycle program, the city proposed adding educational signage, picnic tables, benches, play structures and even recycled art to bump up the park from the bare bones facility currently on the books.
"You've been saving for a dog park for many years and you didn't know it," Parks, Trails and Recreation Director Jonathan Katayanagi told the city council Jan. 23.
The money will come from an account created by the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, a joint powers authority also known as RecycleSmart, from revenue generated by the sale of recyclable material collected from Lafayette residents. RecycleSmart wholesales the items to various vendors and the city gets a cut of the proceeds.
"We can use the money for these types of projects or to defer rate increases, which we've done," said Mayor Mike Anderson, a RecycleSmart board member. The account holds roughly $1.3 million, and the dog park improvements are expected to cost $450,000.
Gates and Associates, a San Ramon-based landscape architect, together with CCCSWA and the city, will design what will be known as the RecycleSmart Dog Park. The materials used will be made out of as much recycled material as possible, and the educational signage will promote recycling. Compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act needs to be worked into the final project recommendation, which the city staff will bring back to the council.
"The money's there. It's not going anywhere," Anderson said, as time to complete the park is not of the essence.
The city will upgrade the dog park only if the Homes at Deer Hill development happens, but the project remains under litigation.

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