PIQUA — The city announced on its website Thursday afternoon that Hollow Park will no longer be used as a dog park, as the U.S. Justice Department has determined that it is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We conferred with the Department of Justice, and it was their interpretation that the existing dog park at Hollow Park would not meet with ADA requirements and cannot be used for a dog park,” City Manager Gary Huff said. “We have officially closed it.”
The city has also immediately stopped development work that was being done at the site to create two fenced-in dog areas. They will be putting down grass seed on the areas that were disturbed.
This determination followed concerns that residents voiced during the public comment portion of the Piqua City Commission meeting on Tuesday evening. Valerie Mullikin and Randi Simon-Serey, both of Piqua, each came forward to talk about how the Hollow Park Dog Park is not accessible to people living with limited mobility.
“It is not accessible in any way, shape, or form,” Mullikin said.
“It’s not accessible in any sense of the word,” Simon-Serey agreed.
Mullikin said that the city should take down signs designating Hollow Park as a dog park until it is either made accessible or another site is made available that is accessible in order to meet ADA requirements.
The city is still working toward finding a new location for a dog park that is accessible for everyone in the Parks Master Plan that is currently under development. They hope to receive recommendations through the creation of that document.
Huff said that they do not have a time frame ready, though, as to when a new dog park will be available for public use.
Even after a new location is found, the hill at Hollow Park where the dog park formerly was located will remain a natural grass area and will not be used for any programming or facilities in the future. Huff said that any new facilities or programming must meet ADA requirements and that there is no way for the city to make that hill accessible.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336