Avenues residents Wednesday shot down a proposal to expand the off-leash area at Lindsey Gardens and voted to install a fence around the existing dog park near Seventh Avenue and N Street.
The board of the Greater Avenues Community Council did not vote during its regular monthly meeting. But residents in attendance did vote against expanding the dog park by a margin of 117 to 49, according to chairwoman Gwen Springmeyer.
In addition, a majority voted to fence the existing off-leash area by a 104 to 63 tally.
The vote is non-binding. But the results will be sent to City Hall, where the administration of Mayor Ralph Becker and City Council will determine what course to follow.
For the past year, the city has been working to update its dog park master plan. But Lindsey Gardens was not being considered for change, according to Ann Ober, director of administrative services.
Nonetheless, the passive recreation area between M Street and N Street from Seventh Avenue to about Eighth Avenue has been a de facto off-leash area for the past several years, even though signs say leashes are required.
Adele Breeden, a proponent of an expanded Lindsey Gardens dog park, said Thursday she was disappointed with the outcome.
"There were a lot of angry neighbors there. I don't know why they were so angry," she said of those against the expanded dog park. "Originally, I thought [the proposal] is no big deal. But it has turned into an emotional, chaotic mess."
Breeden added that she didn't seek to make anyone angry. "I'd like to make them happy," she said. "Why can't we all work together?"
Springmeyer agreed that emotions were running high at the community council meeting.
"We normally have 30 to 50 people attend our meetings," she said. "To have 167 is phenomenal."