A few questions come to mind when reading about the Cocasset River Park controversy:
- were/are there other places in town a dog park could be located? (Selectmen Sullivan stated someone told him there were three…are there any more?)
- where is such a use permitted or planned for in the town bylaws and master plan?
- why does the town need a dog park?
- why are people from out of town allowed to bring their pets here?
- we have sidewalks and yards, don’t we?
- do we have a “pooper-scooper” law on the books?
- whose jurisdiction does the land and use of it fall under and did they talk to all others and consult bulidout/masterplans before proceeding?
- why was it proposed for CRP and not somewhere else, even CRRA/Camp St. Augustine or the newer areas being developed?
- how/does this tie in to the purchase and utilization of Camp St. Augustine?
- should such a use of any town land have been put forth at a zoning board or town meeting first (changes in zoning, use)?
If I remember correctly, Cocasset River park never(?) allowed dogs and was eventually closed due to problems keeping the water quality up to standards. There was also problems with vandalism of the cement-block administration building (toilets and sinks). For years, the gates were locked and not much was done with the land.
What were our town Planners up to? They had to have known something needed to be done to the property to utilize it for townsfolks…other than use the field occassionally for soccer and baseball games. What about the playground, picnic area, beach, and pond? According to the Commonwealth, Foxborough hasn’t created a Community Development Plan pursuant to Executive Order 418 yet…even though there’s up to $30,000 and numerous guides available to help facilitate the completion of a CDP.
What options for this land parcel were put forward? It seems there are many things that can or could be done with the area. A nice interactive learning (biology, ecology, hydrology, geology, astronomy, geography, botany, etc.) area for the schools, groups, and residents? Revitalize the previous use – swimming (where people could learn how to swim, take classes, bring the kids and grandparents, etc.)? Safe boating/canoeing lessons? Campground? Fishing? Outdoor Skating Rink? Sell off? Protect the surface and ground water?
Regardless of who says what about the noise, fecal matter, smell, etc., the neighbors and abutters that were living there prior to the establisment of a dog park now have an abutting nuisance. They have every right to bring forth a lawsuit. And, volunteering on any town board means that a lawsuit might be brought against you. Happens all the time to people acting in their best judgement. But, even if you have years of service or experience, that doesn’t mean you’re always correct or fully knowledgeable about something (that includes lawyers, board members, CEO’s, residents, anyone). Yes, that’s imo and $.02.
P.S. did you know there used to be shortcuts out of the park? Ride you bike through the sand or take a walk in the woods…you’ll see…to South Street, Mill Street…just don’t lose your tag!