Dog Park user fee, guidelines set

At its May 22, 2019 open meeting, the ACC Board of Directors voted to approve Dog Park user fees, operating hours and use guidelines. The Dog Park, currently under construction on Meridian Drive near Merrill Gardens, is set to open later this year. 

User Fees
After much discussion and several scenarios being considered by the Board, and with staff and resident feedback at the meeting and received since the April meeting, a user fee ultimately was approved. At a time to be determined later this year prior to the opening of the dog park, the ACC will announce a "promotional" registration period, with a resident member registration fee of $30. That fee will include registration for up to two dogs; up to two additional dogs can be registered for $10 each. After the close of the promotional period (length and start/end dates TBD), the fee to register will increase to $50. The initial use fee will cover membership through December 2020.  In order to register, Anthem residents must have an active Community Center membership.

Feedback since the April Board meeting was split on the use fee issue, with strong feelings expressed on both sides. Some residents support the proposed $50 user fee to offset costs associated with the specialty nature of the dog park (restricted access system, staffing, maintenance, etc.), as user fees currently exist for several activities, programs and facilities at ACC amenities. Other residents asserted that the dog park should be treated like other ACC park amenities that are funded by assessments and do not include an extra fee for general use.

At $50/year, it will be less than $1/week to use the park--even less if a resident registers during the promotional period--which the Board felt was reasonable for this specialized amenity. A resident in attendance at the meeting stated that he supported this fee, "because when you pay to use something, you're more likely to self-govern and care more about how it looks and operates."

Rules
Staff recommended a change from the April meeting as it related to age restrictions within the dog park: children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Previously, the age guidelines staff had proposed were more strict. Another change from previous meetings is that choke collars will be allowed within the off-leash areas. However, collars with spikes, prongs or other features that could injure dogs or handlers will be prohibited. 

Hours
The Board approved operating hours: May-August, 5:30 a.m.-9:45 p.m.; September-April, 6 a.m.-9:45 p.m.; closed every Wednesday until noon for maintenance. Based on use trends, turf health and other factors, staff will have discretion to alter these hours as necessary.

View the full membership registration process and other information that was posted in the open meeting packet.