Olentangy Valley News

Powell unveils plans for new Park at Seldom Seen

Athletic fields, playgrounds, path included; city leaders say there's no room for dog park

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A rendering shows plans for the Park at Seldom Seen, located on the north side of Seldom Seen Road, west of the railroad tracks. Construction of the park won't begin until 2016.
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A dedicated area for man's best friend is not currently included in the plans for Powell's next park.

The city of Powell shared a preliminary design and a list of potential amenities for the Park at Seldom Seen with residents at an open house last week.

Amenities planned for the 23-acre park -- on the north side of Seldom Seen Road just west of the railroad tracks -- include five soccer fields, two ball diamonds and two playgrounds. A 13,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility also is planned at the site, which will be surrounded by multiuse paths.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the public's response at the June 24 open house was positive overall. She said some residents voiced support for the addition of a dog park to plans for the site.

Canavan said officials focused largely on the three amenities most requested by residents: athletic fields, playgrounds and new paths. The site also is expected to feature a new public service building and a salt barn in the southeast corner of the park.

After those features are plotted on the map, along with a 291-space parking lot, Canavan said little room is left for a dog park. A large portion of the wetland-covered northwest portion of the site will be dedicated as a nature preserve.

"A dog park requires quite a bit of space," she said. "That would take up a decent portion (of the site), but the park design is not final."

Canavan said city officials would continue to consider the public's feedback as the planning process continues. She said some residents also expressed concern about the proposed salt barn on site, but that detail is unlikely to change.

"It would be advantageous for us to have that salt barn at that site (along with) our public-service facility," she said.

Shreya Sirivolu, a Liberty High School student leading the push to build a dog park in Powell, said the city's reasoning for excluding the dog park was understandable.

"Even if there is a dog park there, it might end up being small, which is not usually advisable," she said.

Sirivolu and her group, Friends of Powell Dog Park, previously asked Powell City Council to dedicate at least five acres of city land to a dog park. Under the group's recommendation, at least four acres would be used as a site for big dogs, while smaller dogs could use a separate site of at least one acre.

While the construction of a dog park at the Park at Seldom Seem seems like a long shot now, Sirivolu said she will continue to push for a facility somewhere within the city.

Sirivolu said she and her dog, Bujji, can go for walks around her neighborhood for exercise, but a dog park is about much more than that.

"With a dog park also comes a huge community with it," she said. "A lot of friendships are made."

Sirivolu said the closest dog park to Powell is Alum Creek Dog Park on Hollenback Road. The city of Delaware has a Dog Park Planning Committee, but has not finalized a site.

Sirivolu said she would continue to keep residents updated on the campaign to get a dog park in Powell at the "Friends of Powell Dog Park" Facebook page.

Construction work on the Park at Seldom Seen is not expected to begin until 2016 -- after the city completes its project to extend Murphy Parkway. Both projects will receive funding from a capital-improvement levy passed by voters in 2012.

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