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Noise-Reducing Fencing Still Absent at Baron Cameron Park Dog Run

by Karen Goff — April 15, 2014 at 9:30 am 5 Comments

Noise reducing fencing is supposed to surround Baron Cameron Park dig run.

Baron Cameron Park’s off-leash dog area remains without noise-reducing fencing more than a month after a storm damaged the fencing material.

The sheeting, aimed at reducing noise from the dog park, was put in place more than a year ago. Park officials said last month the fencing material, which was attached to the metal chain link fencing, is being repaired and will be replaced.

But the timing of the barrier damage and removal could not have been worse as the park and Reston Dogs Inc., the group that operates the dog park, are responding to neighbors who filed a lawsuit in early March complaining about the noise.

The residents live in Reston’s Longwood Grove neighborhood, located across Wiehle Avenue from the dog run. The dog park, which is open during daylight hours, is the only off-leash dog run in Reston.

“The dog park noise, mainly from unruly dogs barking and fighting, has grown to intolerable levels over the last two years and is likely to become even more severe in the spring and summer months,” says the court document. “On its worst days, the noise is incessant. The nuisance noise at the dog park disrupts the Longwood Grove Plaintiffs’ reasonable use and enjoyment of their properties.”

There are 100 homes in the Longwood Grove subdivision, but the complaint was brought by seven individuals representing five households.

The injunction cites several previous Virginia rulings dealing with the definition of a nuisance. It claims the plaintiffs are likely to suffer “irreparable harm  from the dogs barking and fighting in the dog park in the summer of 2014 as this case proceeds” and have no legal remedy other to quiet the noise other than to ask for an injunction to shut down the park.

The injunction says that several of the plaintiffs suffer from lack of sleep and extreme stress.

Baron Cameron is about to embark on changes in a new master plan process. There are two visions for the improved park, both of which include a dog park. However, one of the plans includes moving the dog area farther into the 68-acre park’s interior in order to make way for a large indoor pool and recreation center and additional parking.

At a March 27 community meeting on the Baron Cameron Master Plan, many dog park users spoke in support of keeping the dog park at its current location.

“We would like to see the dog park remain in its current position and retain the same character,” said Tom Krassalt, president of Reston Dogs. “One of our concerns is that if the population of Reston is going to double [with upcoming development] then it would mean the dog population would double and a larger park should be considered.”

However, other citizens made the suggestion that the dog park be moved to Lake Fairfax Park, which has more open space and is farther away from homes.

  • kcowing

    Whoever installed this material in the first place was clueless. Unlike the large sections of fabric on tennis courts no one cut flaps to let air (wind) through.

  • Tammi Petrine

    I agree: whoever installed this material WAS clueless… and careless with public monies. No doubt the material and installation was pricey and did absolutely nothing to solve the problem. Further, claims by both dog park users and FCPA officials that there is NO noise problem are disingenuous as well. If there were no problem, NO noise abatement would ever have been installed as park funds are incredibly scare.

    Can we please work together to really solve the problem? We have heard from the many, many dog park supporters that they need and love the off leash area and that dog owners from far away communities inside & outside Fairfax County come to Baron Cameron to use the only available facility. OBVIOUSLY there is a need for a much better, bigger facility for this demographic that is AWAY from established neighborhoods.

    Lake Fairfax Park is such an ideal location and ALREADY has a dog park in its master plan. In fact, a dog park has been on its master plan BEFORE the Baron Cameron location was developed.

    As OLDP (off leash dog park) usage increases, the size AND location at BCP make this location obsolete. Room at the park is scarce given the insufficient # of athletic fields countywide so let’s move the whole facility to the interior of Lake Fairfax Park where dog owners could design and help construct a much better, bigger park for their pooches. Then everyone wins. Existing homeowners can enjoy their homes, dog owners can congregate at Lake Fairfax in a superbly located, well lighted, safe facility designed by them and outsiders can pay for the privilege of using FFX Co. facilities. LFP is a regional FCPA park on the immediate border of Reston so community users would have a very short trip. In addition, the park is huge with heavy vegetation to dampen sound so that the noise problem (and despite claims to the contrary, there IS a noise problem!) would not adversely affect other FFX Co. taxpayers/homeowners.

    Yes, dog owners are nervous about change but if a new facility benefits both humans AND dogs, a new bigger park seems to be the fairest, smartest answer to a vexing problem. Win/Win. Let’s do it. Please. Care about your neighbors; BOTH dog park users and home owners. Thank you.

    • Dexter

      Room at BCP is scarce? Haha, when was the last time you were there? The dog park is the only regular activity going on there (by regular, I mean every single day of the year). The ball fields are completely empty for most of the year. How about keep the dog park at BCP and add another at Lake Fairfax? The demand is clearly there.

    • TheKingJAK

      By homeowners we’re talking about five households, with at least two of them housing the same family. So, let’s say four separate entities are complaining, wow. Let’s slam the brakes and stop traffic because a handful of people don’t like something; meanwhile an overwhelming majority enjoy it. Maybe one should file suit against them for wasting taxpayer money through their frivolous action, action that has been ruled without basis. Clearly, the county is simply attempting to placate the loudmouths who possess more time than sense on their hands, but you cannot cave-in to every whimsical demand. I say this with all due respect to you.

      • Tammi Petrine

        King Jak, I appreciate your respectful tone. I really believe working together, this problem can be resolved.

        Please be aware that citing 5 households is misleading. There may be only 5 households listed on the complaint but many, many more are adversely affected.

        In elementary school, we were taught an old common law principle: “You are free to flail your arms but that right ends where my nose begins.” Another time honored axiom: The Golden Rule: “Do unto others what you would have done unto you.”

        The stress of hearing dogs barking for the majority of all waking hours is a burden that ought not to be tolerated for ANYONE. The monitoring of the OLDA is non-existent, a clear violation of the rules for a park within a residential neighborhood. The county and the Park Authority need to rectify this immediately. Because one lobby is huge and the other small, does not mean might is right. In this case, it is dead wrong. Dog noise is a danger signal to humans and definitely adversely affects health and enjoyment of real property. We can and should change the location of this popular amenity so that all are benefited and no one suffers.

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