Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dog park data

Oh my word, there's a lot of it - data, that is.  The 501(c)3 group Bark9 graciously provided me with an avalanche of it.  Even to get up to speed on what transpired in the 2007 - 2009 time frame when the first attempt at creating a League City dog park failed is a monumental task (if we don't understand where we've been, it's difficult to make sense of where we're going).
Drawing depicting the original proposed design, courtesy of Bark9, which probably got it from League City.  Aerial photo circa 2007.
The same view in early 2014.  You'll notice that the land in question was substantially cleared such that only mature trees remain.  That's because the City had reportedly already spent about $15,000 on site preparation shortly before the project was cancelled.

Image courtesy of Googlemaps.  
And why was the project cancelled?

From what I can tell, the forensics are complicated and bear all the hallmarks of the typical League City politics.  We may never know the full story.  Pretty much none of the original players are still around today - council has been churned extensively and we've had, what, about twenty-nine different city managers and assistant managers since 2007?!
OK, maybe twenty-nine is a slight exaggeration, but League City is absolutely legendary for its high rate of administrative turn-over.

Screengrab courtesy of KTRK-TV.  
There are a number of different ways in which I could proceed with this analysis, particularly as it relates to Centerpointe subdivision, but it's probably better to wait until we see which direction the public discourse takes before debating any given angle.

In the meantime, if you are either for or against a dog park in general, for or against the 750 Centerpointe Drive location, your contact resources are given at the end of this post.

You should use those resources.  What happens with this dog park will not be solely a result of political machinations - the decisions will be influenced by the net will of the people.  That was clear to me from the 2007 - 2009 forensics.  If you want a dog park, whether it's in this designated Centerpointe location and/or in another location, it's not going to happen automatically if nobody puts in any effort.  League City has a pot of money which by law is earmarked for park development.  How and where that money is spent will continue to be primarily a basic function of two things:
  1. Who is trying to milk what angle for political gain. 
  2. Who screams the loudest.  
Oh, and just as a coincidental FYI, if you're reading this post on your computer, you can see the 750 Centerpointe Drive location in this blog's frontispiece (cover photo).  It's at that line of trees in the background roughly in the center of the photo.  If you're reading this on a mobile device, the frontispiece may not be visible to you.

Current resources:

One thing is abundantly clear to me:  League City is way, way behind the times in not having a dog park.  That nearest push-pin icon you see on this map is the dog park at Bay Area Park, which is exactly ten miles from LC's City Hall.  And not just any ten miles - an unrealistically slow ten mile drive through the congested heart of Clear Lake (thirty minute drive each way).  I never go there - it's just too inefficient a use of my time when I could be using that same hour to do like everyone else in my area does - walk my dog in the Interurban easement that runs on the northeast side of the proposed 750 Centerpointe Drive dog park location.  

Screengrab of the existing dog park map, courtesy of Houston Dog Park Association.  

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