After a flurry of emails arrived at City Hall expressing concern, the city is making clear that dogs remain very welcome at Sammamish parks. Jessi Bon, the city’s director of parks, says some people have gotten the wrong impression about minor changes to city regulations.
“Maybe we didn’t talk about it the right way during our Council discussions, or maybe the message got garbled in the media, but we’re not discouraging people from bringing their dogs to our parks,” Bon said. “As a lifelong dog owner, I can understand why that notion would upset people.”
Here are the basics:
- Dogs are not allowed on athletic playing fields. People can still bring dogs to a ball game, but they’re not allowed on the playing surface.
- The previous code prohibited dogs in “picnic areas.” This could have been interpreted to mean that dogs were prohibited from parks if picnickers were present, so the new rule is more narrow. It prohibits dogs under picnic shelters, many of which are rented and used for parties.
- Dogs are not allowed along the shoreline at public parks. Like most cities in the region, Sammamish has always prohibited dogs on public swimming beaches and public docks, but the new code extends the ban to all public shorelines.
- Dogs will be welcome at the Pine Lake Park summer concerts, even though it’s staged on an athletic field. Special signs will make it clear that leashed dogs are allowed. The same will apply to most other public events in the city.
“Even with these clarifications to our code, ninety percent or more of our park space will be open to dogs on a leash,” Bon said. “We love dogs. They’re more than welcome in our park system.”