Dog park among top priorities identified by IVGID board |

Dog park among top priorities identified by IVGID board

Ryan Hoffman |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Ask residents here what their idyllic community is missing, and you will likely hear “dog park” near the top of the list.

The lack of one has been viewed as a major deficiency — by canine owners and those who don’t want to see the Village Green treated as a de facto dog park — in Incline Village for years.

It’s for those reasons that the creation of a dog park is among the top five priorities agreed upon by the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees.

Other priorities include: planning for the future of the Burnt Cedar Pool, a renovation to the district’s tennis center, finalizing plans for the Incline Beach House and identifying a potential site for bocce ball facilities.

Those determinations were hashed out at the board’s Aug. 14 meeting. In agreeing to those five priorities, the board also adopted the long-awaited community services master plan.

Although the ultimate vote on the master plan was 4-1 in favor, there was unanimous support for the five priorities. Trustee Tim Callicrate voted “no” due to what he said were flaws with the plan — mainly that proposed projects did not include estimates for maintenance and ongoing operating costs.

Ultimately, the board’s decision gives direction to staff on what they should focus on, interim General Manager Indra Winquest told the Tribune. Much like approving the master plan itself, approving the five priorities does not greenlight those projects.

Not all five priorities were part of the community services master plan, which involved a more than 18-month process dating back to 2016.

But all five have been identified as needs by the community, Winquest said.

In the case of the dog park, which is included in the community services master plan, Winquest said it has been the single biggest need identified by the community, aside from maintaining existing facilities.

Since 2004 the Village Green has served as a temporary dog park, with dogs allowed to be off leash during specific dates and times. However, with other uses taking place in the park, there is the potential for conflicts between dogs and other Village Green users.

And some residents over the years have raised environmental concerns, given the Village Green’s location between Incline Creek and Third Creek.

Several locations have been suggested over the years, but none have worked for various reasons.

At one point, IVGID was hoping to secure public land in the community as part of a federal lands bill created by Washoe County. However, IVGID’s involvement drew protests from the Washoe Tribe, who expressed dismay about not being invited by the county to participate in the process.

Ultimately, the plots of land in Incline Village were dropped from the bill.

With that option seemingly dead, Winquest said the plan now is to try to work with the U.S. Forest Service on using a 12-acre parcel across from Incline High School for a park. The effort could involve obtaining a special use permit.

At this point, the dog park issue comes down to having a suitable site.

“We’re trying to work through different channels,” Winquest said.

The other four priorities are at different stages.

During that same meeting in August, trustees approved a contract for design services regarding the tennis center upgrades. That project dates back several years and is probably the furthest along, Winquest said.

After some debate, trustees did opt to remove constructing bocce ball courts at the tennis center.

The problem, as staff explained, lies with the size of the tennis center. The parcel would only allow for maximum build out of several bocce ball courts. Given the popularity of bocce, trustees ultimately opted to look for a different site where courts could be constructed.

Trustee Phil Horan echoed thoughts shared by fellow trustees and members of the public in stating he did not want to see that decision delay bocce too far out.

By separating the two, trustees effectively made finding a location for bocce ball an individual priority.

As for the other two priorities, Winquest said those are both in outreach stages.

A preliminary design was completed for the Incline Beach House a few years ago, but the project was put on hold due to shifting priorities and issues with cost estimates. Winquest said staff will likely look back on those plans for reference. He expects an advisory committee consisting of “super users” will be created to help provide input as the design planning is restarted.

For Burnt Cedar, the goal is to provide trustees with options and a timeline for possible repair or replacement of the pool, which currently has issues that could jeopardize continued operation.

Winquest said he expects plenty of public outreach on that subject over the winter.

With all five priorities, it is a matter of balancing fiscal responsibility with a vision for long-term use, Winquest added.

One item that failed to make the list of priorities: an ice rink.

A part of the Incline and Crystal Bay community has tried for decades to get an ice rink built. An actual foundation was formed back in the ’90s to try to fund the project. It currently has approximately $500,000 in the bank.

While none of the trustees dismissed the idea of having an ice rink in Incline Village, there was consensus that it is not currently a priority. If the foundation or others in the community want to move forward, it should be their responsibility to approach IVGID with a formal plan, several trustees said.

At the board’s request, Windquest said he intends to bring updates on the five priorities to the board during its meetings, starting Sept. 25.

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