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Kyle OKs first phase of city-owned dog park

Steeplechase Park in Kyle could soon be going to the dogs.

By a unanimous 7-0 vote, the Kyle City Council approved $49,895 for the first phase of a city-owned dog park, located on land near the intersection of Lehman Road and Hailey Drive.

Kerry Urbanowicz, Kyle parks and recreation director, said the city identified the area for a potential dog park based on the open space available.

The Steeplechase site was selected despite roughly half of the identified space being included in the 100-year flood plain.

“We made every effort possible to put it outside of the flood plain,” Urbanowicz said.

Kyle officials began looking into the idea of a dog park earlier this year. Urbanowicz said a committee consisting of himself, Chief of Staff Jerry Hendrix, Animal Control Officer Briana Brecher and several others toured dog parks in Central Texas.

The city’s new dog park will be located off Lehman Road and completed in two phases. (courtesy rendering)

The committee visited parks in New Braunfels, Austin and Buda, as well as several private homeowner association (HOA) owned facilities.

The group then designed what they envisioned for a dog park in Kyle.

“We spent time thinking about what we would like to see in the city,” Urbanowicz said.

That vision included having separate small and large dog areas, along with a “transition zone” that will allow dogs to be safely taken off-leash.

Urbanowicz said having enough parking will also be a point of focus, based on popularity of dog parks in the area.

“If this thing is a hit, we need to make sure there is plenty of parking,” Urbanowicz said.

However, the city is planning to take on the cost of the park in at least two phases. Initial estimates for the park and amenities ranges from $115,000 to $185,000, with the city potentially adding “little things” in the future, Urbanowicz said.

The first phase of the park would encompass putting up fencing and water stations for the large and small dog sections, along with a transition zone, which city officials believe should be made of concrete.

A future second phase, which would cost another $49,000, would include installation of amenities such as a walking trail, benches and landscaping.

Urbanowicz said the city could also have time to potentially fundraise to help offset the cost. That could include asking for donations or obtaining sponsorships.

Daphne Tenorio, District 6 Kyle City Council member, said the city could create a “Friends of the Parks Department” group that could help with the fundraising process. She cited the success of the “Friends of the Library” group that helps with Kyle Library projects. Shane Arabie, Kyle City Council District 4 member, agreed with Tenorio and advocated for her to start such a project.

“We are missing out on so much money that you could have coming into the system through donations,” Tenorio said. “We could have raised an additional $100,000 to see the project come through.”

Arabie asked that the city partner with the Concrete and Industry Management Group at Texas State University to assist with Transition Zone construction.

Arabie said the private dog park in Plum Creek has “great patronage” and believes a city-owned facility could be beneficial.

“This is going to be good for the other side of the highway and tie both sides together,” Arabie said.

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said the proposed park is an amenity most people in the city can use. Mitchell said it could also boost social engagement for residents.

“Oftentimes, we live in a home with a small backyard,” Mitchell said. “This gives us the ability to offer an amenity where homeowners can come out, take their dogs off the leash and enjoy the outdoors.”

Kyle’s Dog Park By The Numbers

Large Dog Park $23,363

  • 5’H Black Coated Chainlink Fence $17,206
  • 10’W Maintenance Gate $1,172
  • Drinking Fountain with 4’x6′ Concrete Pad $4,985

Small Dog Park $17,923

  • 5’H Black Coated Chainlink Fence $11,766
  • 10’W Mainentance Gate $1,172
  • Drinking Fountain with 4’x6′ Concrete Pad $4,985

Combined Entrance $8,609

  • Fence 20′ x 30′ with 6 Gates and closures $2,954
  • Related Concrete $5,655

Total $49,895

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