At the request of some Port Ludlow dog owners, in August 2017 the Village Council formed a committee to research the possibility of creating a dog park in Port Ludlow. Phyllis and Glenn Waldenberg were appointed co-chairs. Our committee was joined by an equal number of North and South Bay residents. Much time and effort has been spent by many dedicated people and we thank them.

We wanted to know how much interest and support exists in Port Ludlow for a dog park? In a poll posted on Next Door, 70% of 120 responses said yes, they would support a dog park. Currently there are 275 dogs licensed in Jefferson County by owners living within Port Ludlow. Statistics suggest there may be twice as many unlicensed, since on average, 44% of households in the US own a pet.

We researched County land-use requirements, studied other parks to determine the size land needed, (one half to three quarters of an acre will do) common surfaces, costs of fencing, water, parking, insurance, signage, rules, waste equipment and removal and maintenance of the property. We investigated what type of volunteer organization is needed to raise funds to operate and maintain the park. Under the umbrella of Port Ludlow Village Council, the dog park committee could operate similar to the PLVC Trails Committee, which maintains the trails owned by Port Ludlow Associates and common areas.

After we gathered the information, in October 2017 we met with Port Ludlow Associates President Diana Smeland to inquire into the company’s interest, if any, in creating a dog park within the Master Planned Resort.

Ms. Smeland said in the future the company plans to build single family homes on property adjacent to Oak Bay Road, across from Admiralty Condos. The County requires the company to provide a park and playground within this new development. The park itself would be located on the corner of Oak Bay Road and Marina View Drive. The County could approve a dog park in place of the park and playground to meet this requirement. Ms Smeland said she believes this is an excellent location for a dog park because the resort is dog-friendly, and that guests as well as all Port Ludlow residents, could enjoy its easy access within walking distance of the Inn and Marina. Another benefit to the dog park in this location, in place of the park and playground, is that the large trees could be left in place for the dog park, but would have to be removed for the park and playground. We agreed to continue our investigation and prepare a proposal to meet again in late March of 2018.

On March 1, 2018, the proposal, complete with a site plan, aerial photos, location of fencing, parking, gates, pet waste and water stations, signage, benches, costs of all components needed, insurance, operation and annual maintenance, and how the property would be held,  was presented at the Village Council Board meeting. The committee received approval to present the proposal to Ludlow Maintenance Commission Board, Admiralty I & II Boards, and to Port Ludlow Associates.

On March 15, 2018, the proposal was presented to the Ludlow Maintenance Commission Board. Directors voiced opposition to the dog park in this location, citing concerns of noise, smell and traffic. On March 20, 2018 PLVC received a letter from the LMC Board, stating the Board supports a dog park, but is opposed to this location for the reasons listed above.

On April 4, 2018, in a meeting with Ms. Smeland, she said the County would not grant replacing the park and playground with a dog park if there was opposition to it. We reviewed other appropriately zoned areas within the MPR that could allow a dog park. Most areas include either very difficult terrain, lack of roads or easy access, wetlands, would most likely incur opposition and would require additional costs, leaving very limited possibilities for a dog park. We continue to look into alternatives. The idea of a dog park in Port Ludlow is not dead yet, but just barely breathing.

Phyllis Waldenberg
PLVC Dog Park Co-Chair