Neighbors urge Metro and D.C. to save Northwest dog park
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Some Columbia Heights residents are barking up a storm, concerned their neighborhood dog park might close because Metro is considering selling the property at 11th Street and Park Road, Northwest. They have even started a petition.
As of Wednesday, more than 300 residents have signed the petition opposing the sale of the WMATA property that has been used for many years as a dog park.
“It'd be a great loss,” said Patrick Flynn, who owns a pet care business across the street. “After work, in particular, this place is mobbed.”
Another neighbor Olivia Brant said, “I rent an apartment so there’s not a lot of area for [my dog] to play inside, so this space is definitely very valuable.”
It's also very valuable financially. The site would be an ideal location for any developer, located on a block that has seen a resurgence in the past decade with new restaurants and residents.
“I am concerned that if Metro sells it, that we will lose our park," neighbor Maggie Garrett said.
In response, WMATA spokesperson Sherri Ly said in a statement, “Metro is evaluating the options for all its excess property, including 11th and Park. At this time, no determination has been made on whether to sell the property.”
ANC commissioner Angelica Castañon is among the neighbors organizing to save the dog park.
“Keep this as a green space,” she said. “Keep it in the community's hands.”
Today, the so-called green space is mostly just dirt with a giant vent and other metro infrastructure, but neighbors hope the park can be saved and spruced up.
“I reviewed the regulations around dog parks and I'm confident we can make this space work with the right resources invested in it," Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau said.
Nadeau said she wants the District government to acquire the property. Her D.C. Council colleague and Metro board chair Jack Evans said it is valued at more than $1 million.
“The city will then have to take a look at that and say, ‘If it's important to our residents, maybe we should purchase it and fix it up.’ And if not, we'll have to see where we go from there,” Evans said. “But from Metro's point of view, putting my Metro hat on, not my District hat, we need the money.”
Residents will be watching closely. They've organized a community meeting set for Jan. 31.