Kansas City, MO Off-leash Dog Program

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Kansas City, MO, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 8/28/07

Source File: http://www.kcmo.org/parks/parks/dogparkguidelines.pdf


Resolution #28125
Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation

WHEREAS, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, desiring to offer the numerous residents with dogs living in our community an opportunity to enjoy public parks with their dogs off-leash, supports the development of off-leash dog areas to provide safe places for dogs to exercise, play and socialize.

WHEREAS, Kansas City, Missouri Ordinance 14-33(a) requires dogs to be on leashes in public areas for the protection of fellow citizens, as well as for the safety of the dogs; and paragraph (e) of the same ordinance states “Any person permitting or allowing a dog to run at large within an “off-leash dog area” established on parks under the control and manage of the board of parks and recreation commissioners, in accordance with all rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the board of parks and recreation commissioners for such area, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section.”

WHEREAS, Parks and Recreation’s mission is follows: “To improve the quality of life by providing recreational, leisure and aesthetic opportunities for all citizens, and by conserving and enhancing the environment. We will accomplish this mission by providing quality programming, making the best use of existing resources, developing a supportive and influential constituency, developing effective collaborations and partnerships, and acquiring and preserving natural features.”

WHEREAS, providing off-leash areas on park property falls within this mission and we recognize that off-leash areas provide an opportunity for citizens to socialize and connect with others with similar interests, enjoy leisure activities, and exercise. Additionally, an off-leash area provides an opportunity to improve the socialization and health of the dogs.

WHEREAS, we have identified the following site selection factors to be considered when identifying and assessing a site for a proposed off-leash area.

Space Considerations

  • Locate off leash areas in large community and regional parks where appropriate space is available.
  • Avoid areas that abut or are in close proximity to neighborhoods and residences.
  • Avoid interference with other established uses of the park.
  • Locate in “under utilized” park or portion of a park.
  • Locate where design that will permit capture of storm water runoff or runoff will go to sanitary sewer system.
  • Locate where a buffer zone will exist between the proposed area and existing programs such as tennis courts, ball diamonds, and walking trails; proximity to children’s play areas will be avoided.
  • Avoid sites adjacent to an ecologically sensitive area such as a river, wildlife habitat, or on steep slopes.
  • Locate where there will be minimal impact upon the total visual character of a park.
  • Locate where adequate parking will be available nearby.

WHEREAS, community support is vital to the success of an off-leash area; and we encourage partnerships to assist Parks and Recreation in the delivery of services to the community;


Section 1. A permanent program for consideration of off-leash use of selected parks is hereby established.

Section 2. The program initially includes the existence of one location at Penn Valley Park and the current development of another at Raytown Road Athletic Field and other locations will be considered based upon interest, funding available, and space considerations.

Section 3. The development of, and the continued existence of, an off-leash area may depend on the on-going and active involvement of an off leash area advocacy group or stewardship committee that has entered into a formal agreement to assist with the ongoing care, maintenance, and upkeep of an off leash area.

Section 4. At all off-leash dog areas, signs will be posted listing rules, regulations, and etiquette that apply to off leash sites.

Section 5. Off leash areas must be carefully located and any proposed location will be assessed following the space considerations listed above and should then be included in the masterplan for that park.

Section 6. After the establishment of an off leash area, the Board shall have authority to temporarily or permanent close, or modify the boundaries for any of the following reasons: environmental damage; failure of an advocacy group to uphold terms of an agreement; public health or safety; or serious unanticipated problems affecting other park users.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be entered into the Official Minutes of the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners and the Secretary be directed to furnish a copy of this resolution to the City Clerk.