No Park for Preston Hollow Pooches

A proposed Preston Hollow dog park near Forest Lane and the North Dallas Tollway has been rejected, according to the office of a Dallas council member.

Jennifer Gates, the council member representing District 13, emailed residents and said that “there will be no dog park, nor a pop-up” on the currently empty lot along Forest Lane, between Quincy Lane and Nuestra Drive.

This email came following a neighborhood meeting between Preston Forest residents and Gates on May 21.

The meeting was also attended by District 11 council member Lee Kleinman; Willis Winters, Dallas Parks and Recreation Department director; and Meredith Powell, who spearheaded the original dog park idea.

Gates said in her email that money raised for the dog park will now be considered for renovations to the Preston Royal Library.

“I will work with city staff to facilitate the consensus of the community to recommend selling the [plot of land], and renovating the library,” Gates said. “I promise to keep [all residents] informed of the process.”

One of the more vocal anti-dog park groups came from the Melshire Estates, a subset of houses within Preston Forest. A resident of the Melshire Estates, Neil Fisher, applauded the turnout from his neighbors at the meeting.

“I can tell you there was little to no support for the park from Melshire Estates,” he said.

Fisher and his wife, Janelle Alcantara, spoke out against the dog park almost immediately – despite being dog lovers themselves.

“We own a 50-pound Boxer breed,” Fisher said. “I am absolutely not trying to rabble rouse. I am 100-percent supportive of a park where people can walk their dogs on leash. I just don’t want to live directly on top of a dog park. It is not a pleasant way to live.”

Fisher said the odor emitting from dog parks was the key reason in his strong opposition, as well as noise.

In May, Linda Vallala, president of the Melshire Estates neighborhood, said a dog park would “directly affect property values that are backing up against it, not to mention the noise factor for the people that are located close to it. We feel that it is not appropriate to have in a residential area.”

Residents and officials also discussed finding another property for a dog park, as well as options pertaining to the library’s renovations. The library was built in 1964.

The lot in question was bought with funds from the 2006 bond program, Gates said.