Former Key Biscayne council member Michael Davey used to clandestinely take his dog out on the Village Green park in the middle of the night so she could run for a while.
“There was no public space for dogs to interact off the leash,” he said. “They like to be able to run free.”
Davey was the first to suggest to the council that a dog park should be established in the village. After more than five years of debate, a temporary dog park was established in 2013 on an undeveloped parcel across from the village’s civic center on the corner of West McIntyre Street and Crandon Boulevard.
The temporary dog park will now have a permanent home.
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After a decision by the village council earlier this month to turn that parcel into a multipurpose park, the dog park will be moved to the north end of the Village Green park.
The council chose Stantec, a consulting firm that designed some of the village’s streets and bridges, to design a multipurpose park at 530 Crandon Blvd. and a dog park on the Village Green.
The conceptual design for the park at 530 Crandon includes an amphitheater, a multiuse court, a pavilion and a passive park area. The estimated cost of the park is approximately $787,000. The dog park design includes separate spaces for small and large dogs, obstacle course features and a water park-like area, complete with water-shooting fire hydrants. The estimated cost of the dog park is approximately $547,000. The conceptual designs are not the definitive site plan, though.
“We plan for a Cadillac and then we bring it down,” Village Manager John Gilbert said. “And that brings the price down.”
Over the next several months, Stantec will meet with village officials to decide what the dog park and multipurpose park on 530 Crandon will look like.
“This is a jumping off point, but it’s also a point where we now need to seriously start identifying exactly what the components are going to be in the dog park and on 530 Crandon,” Gilbert said.
Residents and council members have differed in their views on what 530 Crandon should be used for. Several residents hoped to have a senior center and cultural center built on the property. The village is looking for alternatives to meet those demands.