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Kailua Playground likely to keep ball courts

Residents of Kona Alii Condominiums and supporters of Let Us Run Our Dogs listen as West Hawaii parks supervisor Deac DeCamp (background in blue shirt) talks about alternate sites for a dog park. (Photo by Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com)

Residents of Kona Alii Condominiums and supporters of Let Us Run Our Dogs listen as West Hawaii parks supervisor Deac DeCamp (background in blue shirt) talks about alternate sites for a dog park. (Photo by Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com)

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com Contributing Editor

It looks like Kailua Playground will keep its basketball and tennis courts, and dog owners will consider other options for a dog park.

Nearly 70 residents and dog owners gathered Thursday evening at the park to discuss their vision for the county park, a silver of land between Alii Sunset Plaza and Kona Alii Condominiums.

Kailua Village Business Improvement District has been reviewing the best use for the playground, also known as the Ghetto. Let Us Run Our Dogs, a non-profit community group, wants an off-leash dog park with grassy areas and water features.

Bobby Command, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, said the county does not want to lose any athletic facilities, but is not opposed to working toward a dog park somewhere in West Hawaii. 

Mattson Davis, chairman of the Public-Private Committee, said KVBID is  looking for the best and highest use for that piece of property and was pleased to hear from park users, neighbors and dog owners at the meeting.

Kona Alii residents said illegal and inappropriate activity, especially at night, has decreased since the restrooms were painted and the facility was locked during off-hours. Most favored improving the park facilities while keeping the ball courts.

Tops on the wish list for the park are shade, landscaping for a picnic area and a net over the tennis court to prevent balls pinging about.

Deac DeCamp, West Hawaii parks supervisor, said he already is working on an alternate site for a dog park.

A dog relaxes in the shade Thursday, Jan. 14 as his owner listens to plans for Kailua Playground. (Photo by Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com)

A dog relaxes in the shade Thursday, Jan. 14 as his owner listens to plans for Kailua Playground. (Photo by Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com)

 

 

“I’m not going to divulge it, but I think you’re going to like it,” he said.

While he did not reveal where it might be, he did mention the Old Kona Airport Park complex, parts of which recently were handed over to the county from state jurisdiction. The county and numerous sports and recreation groups are developing a plan for the complex.

Tania Orol, founder of Let Us Run Our Dogs, said the group already is considering another site off Royal Poinciana Drive, but is open to all options and realizes it will be a long-term project.

“It’s a matter of if we can find a piece of land,” she said.

Let Us Run Our Dogs envisions an off-leash dog park that might include a separate area for small dogs, benches and shade trees, grassy areas and water features. Users will have to ensure their dogs have updated shots, microchips and licenses.

More than 2,500 signatures already have been collected in support of such a park, Orol said. 

The county leash law does not allow dogs on county property or beaches and any off-leash park likely will need administrative approval, and a review of the county code.  

Davis said KVBID would like to have a plan by mid-February to present to the Parks and Recreation Department director Bob Fitzgerald.

The mission of KVBID is to make Kailua Village a model sustainable community that is a better place in which to invest, work, live and play. KVBID is working cooperatively to improve and maintain the physical appearance and aesthetics of public right of ways, open space and parks, increase cleanliness and security, and attract long term sustainable business and community activity in Kailua Village.

 — Find out more:
Let Us Run Our Dogs: 936-4908, www.letusrunourdogs.org
Kailua Village Business Improvement District: www.kvbid.org

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