Prince Rupert council revises dog park hours

Doug Kerr Field, Prince Rupert's unofficial dog park, will once again be open longer.

Doug Kerr Field, Prince Rupert’s unofficial dog park, will once again be open longer.

The City of Prince Rupert recently imposed an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Closure following noise complaints from nearby residents, something staff did without consulting council as a means of compromising between the residents and the users of the park. But at the Sept. 9 meeting, council said the hours didn’t make sense in light of a bylaw that permits noise between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

“If someone can wake me up at 7 a.m. With public hammering or drilling, then noise at a piece of public land that is zoned for recreation shouldn’t be an issue,” said Councillor Anna Ashley.

However, Mayor Jack Mussallem said that using the noise bylaw in this situation was not necessarily a fair comparison.

“I want to be careful we don’t compare construction and the noise bylaw to an area for dog use. In some area, there will be construction from time-to-time, but the complaint we had was this is happening almost daily,” he said.

Noise aside, Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson pointed to the inconvenience the hours put on working people.

“A lot of people who work go there early … they are concerned those hours are not accommodating them.”

While others had brought up the idea of getting a report from staff, Councillor Joy Thorkelson said that would be a waste of staff time and moved revising the hours to the park on a trial period.

“From now until May 31, we should go with opening the park from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. …we will see if there is a problem, and then if it is we will re-examine it,” she said.