Tampa dog park has residents barking mad

Seminole Heights, Florida -- The image of a dog park is one of pets running and playing in the open, but the public discussion of creating one is more like a dogfight between the opposing sides.

"I think that's really exciting."

"I think it's ridiculous."

"I think it would be great to have a dog park."

"Absolutely 100 percent against the dog park here."

A battle is brewing in historic Seminole Heights, because an effort to build a dog park in Rivercrest Park is pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Snarky comments started on the civic association's Facebook page. Then, an argument starts between a group that opposes the park, and homeowner Steve Lytle, who wants it. Those opposed say it's a safety risk, especially for children.

"You're gonna have a 31,000-square-foot dog park next to a playground. If a dog gets out, that's gonna have to be the kid who pays for it," said homeowner Alex Keyhani.

Opponents also balk at the budget of $50,000.

"It is a lot of money. We can use that for sidewalks and lighting and other things. I mean if you're gonna put it into the park, use it for other things, not a dog park with fences," said homeowner Jeff Manzutto.

Some residents also worry about traffic, parking and aesthetics.

"It's going to look terrible. People are concerned about property values," said resident Mike Snyad.

But Lytle says that's what urban planning is all about.

"It's a really great spot where you can watch your kids and let your dog run free, and I think the city's going to do all the things that are right to make sure those concerns are addressed," said Lytle.


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