AAC reaches consensus on future of dog park at new recreation center

The Amenity Authority Committee has reached a consensus on the future of a dog park at the new First Responders Recreation Center to be located in the Marion County section of The Villages.

The new recreation center will be built at the site of the former First Baptist Church on County Road 42. That site was once a place where dog owners were welcome to exercise their pets. The church reversed that policy in 2017. 

A sign welcomes dog walkers to property at First Baptist Church at The Villages. The policy was reversed in 2017.

The AAC, which purchased about 18 acres of property from the church for $2 million, on Wednesday discussed the possibility of including a dog park at the new First Responders Recreation Center.

The Recreation Department and AAC members have heard from homeowners in the area who are opposed to the idea of the noise of barking dogs in their backyards.

“You know we have tried to put dog parks in areas that don’t impact residential areas” said Recreation Department Director John Rohan.

He pointed out that the Mulberry Dog Park in the Village of Springdale area has been established to serve dog owners in the area.

Do you think there are suitable dog parks available in The Villages? Let us know in a Letter to the Editor submitted at this link: https://www.villages-news.com/submit-letters-editor/

AAC member Don Deakin said Villagers with dogs who for years had used vacant property behind the Rio Grande Family Pool had some hope a new “free range” dog park would be included at the First Responders site.

However, the AAC has reached a consensus that a dog park will not be included at the site.