A hotly contested dog park proposal has taken center stage among the most important issues plaguing Montgomery County during the pandemic.  In an attempt to avoid the controversy created by the initial proposed downtown Bethesda dog park location at Norwood Local Park, the County is now proposing to house the dog park using the bottom G4 level of garage 49, known as Metropolitan Garage. “We’ve heard the testimony and are readying our presentation for the under utilized lowest level of the garage, where no one can hear dogs barking and there are no kids walking in proximity to dogs,” exclaimed Parks Department Landscape Architect Candace Beover.

Bethesda Beat

Neighbor Complaints and Concerns

as reported by Bethesda Beat

• Noise from barking dogs
• Smell of dog waste
• Some of the open space in the park is unusable due to the terrain, and the dog park area is one of the areas that is usable
• Cost
• Replacing natural grass with artificial turf or other materials for the floor of the park
• The importance of preserving open space in an urban area
• Proximity to the toddler park
• Not enough parking space

Bethesda Beat

SOURCE: Bethesda Beat article published on 5/7

The new “Park & Bark” plan was designed to address all of the issues brought up during public testimony for the original Norwood Local Park location. Ms. Beover explained, “The underground garage location perfectly isolates noisy barking dogs 50 feet underground and away from any residents. No further natural grass is lost since we’re simply dumping mulch on top of existing concrete. There’s already drainage for the dog waste and ventilation already built-in to the garage!” She laughingly added, “I’d have to doublecheck, but is that parking level labeled red or brown?”

Parents were relieved that their children wouldn’t be exposed to potentially diabolical dogs on the walk up to and within 50 feet proximity of the dog park as was in the previous Norwood plan. Concerns of limited parking were assuaged due to the simple fact that the parking garage already has plentiful parking spaces at no additional cost. The Maryland Tesla Owners club was excited at the prospect of visiting Bethesda Row after a doggy playdate while their dogs comfortably relaxed in “Dog Mode,” a feature exclusive to Tesla vehicles which bathes the dog in air conditioning while notifying others that the dog is safe and comfortable.

Beover proudly noted that “This is another example of the County turning lemons into lemonade. We’ve adapted the frequent flooding problem into a water feature for the dogs to enjoy. Plus it saves us on regular cleaning costs.”

Chevy Chase Terrace homeowner and burgeoning legal expert Ned I.M. Bradford the 150th noted the significant difference of local parks versus urban parks and the allowed use of the estimated $500,000 in funds earmarked specifically for urban improvement. “Now this is the definition of urban that makes perfect sense for a dog park.”

All 502 surveyed homeowners who opposed the Norwood Local Park plan rejoiced in the news that the new dog park would not literally be in their backyard 200′ away.

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