BOS to Discuss Kanine Kingdom at Happy Landings

Residents looking to build a dog park have met resistance from neighbors and conservationists.

The agenda for Monday night’s Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) meeting includes the discussion of the , a 74-acre piece of town-owned land on Whisconier Road.

Brookfield residents for dogs and their owners, proposing using space near the Gurski Homestead, however that proposal was . After assaying all of the town-owned open space as potential locations, Conservation ultimately decided that Happy Landings was the only appropriate location.

According to Conservation Chairman Alice Dew, the commission considered each property separately and Happy Landings was the only one to get a favorable vote.

The on Nabby Road was looked at, for instance, however it is currently a bird sanctuary and the long-term use of the property has not been mapped out yet.

and the both suffer from access problems and Cadigan Park and Town Hall lack enough space for an acre park.

Happy Landings, on the other hand, is “somewhat centrally located,” especially when compared to other town properties, Dew explained, and there are few residential properties that abut the proposed spot, which would be a little less than an acre adjacent to the parking lot and the road.

“We felt it was a reasonable use of open space,” Dew said, adding that a dog park is considered a “passive use of recreation.”


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Some neighbors, however, have come out in opposition to changing Happy Landings, both out of a desire to maintain preserved open space and to prevent a potential nuisance from entering the neighborhood.

Brookfield resident Laila Ferrara, who lives just up the road from Happy Landings and brings her dog there to walk the trails, said she and a number of others are opposed to any development of the area.

“Although many of us would enjoy a dog park in Brookfield, we would not agree to changing Happy Landings,” she said. “It is valuable open space and home to wildlife that should not be displaced or scared away by any change to the environment.”

Proponents of Kanine Kingdom have argued that their request is for a small section of the property and that the dog park won’t ruin Happy Landings’ bucolic setting.

Dew agreed, explaining that Conservation chose to locate the park up front where it would have the least impact on the total space.

“This would not be very intrusive,” she said. “It’s not going to ruin the view.”

Ferrara also noted that increased noise from barking dogs could irate those who live directly next to the park.

“It’s incredibly disrespectful to the Brookfield residents who live around the space to tamper with their home environment,” she said.

Happy Landings neighbor Helen McCormack said she doesn’t think noise will be an issue, as people go to the space with their dogs now and the din doesn’t carry. McCormick doesn’t have a dog herself but enjoys the open space and wouldn’t be opposed to using a portion for a dog park.

“The land is so nice,” she said, “I don’t think it gets used enough.”

Another neighbor agreed that noise probably wouldn’t be a problem, but wondered whether increased traffic would be a problem, as she has trouble leaving her driveway onto Route 25 as it is.

Marcia Diniez, who lives across the street from the property, said she would be fine with using the park for something more than open space, however she would prefer to see something for the town’s youth.

“I have two kids [ages two and 10] and dog,” she said. “The dog is fine, we need to think about the kids now.”

Diniez noted the , however the playground is geared more toward younger kids rather than the town’s adolescents and teens.

While the space was purchased for protection from development, “All town properties are available to become whatever the town votes for them,” Dew said, as the town has considerable leeway in deciding how protected property can be used. Any resident or user group can request the use of town-owned space, she explained, with “Conservation, as advisory, making a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen, who ultimately makes the decision.”

The BOS meets at 7:30 p.m. June 4 in the Brookfield High School (BHS) media center.

Michelle June 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Lisa--what other properties have you all persued?? Several suggestions have been given to you and the dog park committee. Which ones have you gone to and inquired about??
Jill Lucas June 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Lisa, the town people would have gotten wind of this. don't pat yourself on the back for bringing it to our attention. there is no respect here for the land..remember the land..that's what this is about, not your beloved dog park. Since when does open space and fences fall in the same catagory?.. there has to be another place to put this. There has to be a common ground both sides can agree on. I think your so busy making this about you to see what the true issue is. this land is special and one of the few parcels that is protected in this town. it is opening the doors to an acre here, and acre there, soon it is all gone. there has to be a compromise whch you seem unwilling to make. its's about both sides working together to find a solution. it's not about you, it's about the land.
Jill Lucas June 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I am so upset about the Happy Landings Site. First off, Lisa I beleive has a hidden agenda and is using the dog park to promote herself and her business'...in an article dated May 2010, it states the properties sole use will be for hay production..what are the reprecussions of using lime & herbicide treated land on the dogs?....also, I for one would hate to be a skidish dog when the farming equipement comes in. This may " only be an acre" .. but it's one acre out of a few in town that are designated for open space. Come to New Milford and see first hand what has happened to the land, it is fille din woth wood chips because the grass won't grow back, and owners ignore the clean up after yourself rule. it is a mess. I am truly hoping this does not go through and the town turns this down. Lisa will have to find another way to drum up business
Lisa Allan June 06, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Jill, it's comments like this that make your whole side look bad. Why would you say things like that? Please do not assume these things about me or my business. I "drum up" business for being reputable and through recommendations and referrals. I do NOT need a dog park for business. I've worked very hard to keep my business running and to continue to educate myself. Please do not belittle that. Yes, that makes me angry
Jill Lucas June 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Lisa, I'm just saying what other people don't have the nerve to say out loud, I have heard many say the same thing. I don't understand how my "side" can look bad when we are fighting for the conservation of land that has already been dedicated as such. I don't see how destoying this property makes your "side" look good. there has to be a common ground, there has to be a compromise. I don't really feel your hearing the full argument and are just blinded by what you want. I agree it would be nice to have a dog park, just not at Happy Landing. This land is special. suddenly we're fencing off peices here and adding parking spots there, it is altering the entire landscape of the area and ruining the reasons it is so special. A dog park should be in a non-residential, non conservation area. I've seen a few people in various threads ask what are the other areas for consideration, and I still have not seen a response. it's almost like that's the area you picked, that's what your sticking to. At least our "side" is willing to compromise and agrees on the dog park, just not the location. Your committee seems unwilling to consider anything else.
Jill Lucas June 06, 2012 at 07:28 PM
this is the question that the whole committee has dodged, because they haven't looked into any other properties, I have seen this asked numerous times now with no response.
Lisa Allan June 06, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Not true...we've answered this question so many times. I'm sorry you haven't seen the answer. It's written a bunch of times. Happy Landings was placed in our hands as the only spot that would be recommended to the BOS. We had no choice in the matter at all. Also, this is not MY dog park. I'm speaking for a community of people. I hate that people are opposed to it and I have tried other ways. Read other boards and you'll see. Sometimes I choose not to answer the same question over and over, that's all. When someone starts their comment in a negative way or an accussing way I have been trying not to pay attention. People are misunderstanding. For the first week I basically killed myself trying to answer everyone's comments. You will have to go back and read them. I will respond when I can but I have a business and a family that I also need to take care of. I don't need to be feeling horrible, angry and defensive all the time
Michelle June 06, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Lisa~ I specifically gave you several other private options for your committee to inquire about. I specifically asked which other properties you have persued. You have not given me a straight answer yet. I understand the Conservation Committee has suggested Happy Landings. Just because they give you a suggestion doesn't mean you are done doing your foot work and research. Just because they gave you a suggestion does not mean it will be approved. I gave you suggestions of multiple properties. Have you honestly done your leg work? North of 4corners has to be close to a dozen different properties. As well as commerce drive. This dog park does NOT have to be on town property. In fact this whole dog park could be in anyones back yard that has more than an acre. How much property do you have Lisa? Perhaps, you should just fence in your own back yard and save the town the massive migraine.
Lisa Allan June 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM
If you want someone to blame go ahead and blame me if it makes you feel better but this "migraine" is NOT because of me. I'm not sure why you are the only one giving me a hard time. We researched properties for 2 years with the town and explored each and every one of them. We did our foot work, thank you. The town wants a dog park. It is the popular thing now in towns and it's going to stay that way. This is not MY park or MY anything. Like I said, blame me if you need to but I suggest you read all the other comments and articles and they will answer your questions. Don't accuse us for not doing our leg work. It's been 2 years. Please, before you make your assumptions do your research. I'm sorry if this is an angry comment but I'm upset. I've answered all these questions a million times and I've been here to answer everything. NOW you are taking your anger out on ME. This is not my dog park. If it were then the vote will be very easy and you've got nothing to worry about.
Matt Dewkett June 06, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I have a hard time understanding why other land-owning businesses have not been approached to carve out some of their land to make this happen. KC in New Milford has given land, and O&G in Southbury has given land and co-branded the park to get some positive PR. It seems like that is the "norm" in our area. I have to imagine that somewhere around town, and I have to believe the corporate park is a great starting point, someone has an extra acre that they could donate to this. Let them stick their name on it, and get the "free" goodwill. Maybe the Steiners want to ante up here as they eventually will piss everyone off and build a strip mall on the cornfields. I guarantee if the headline was Berkshire Corporate Park donates land for new dog park, you wouldn't have any of the push back you've received. Lisa, I think your group needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. I am a dog owner, and a lover of open space. I support a park, this isn't the right place for it. I think the success of your vision of the park will be much greater if you're able to do it in a manner that is not inciting this much negative feedback before one shovel is in the ground.
Lisa Allan June 06, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Matt, I hate all the negativity around it. I wish it could all be one big happy event...how easy would that be? About a year ago I did contact businesses. I also put out ad's in the paper, patch and notices around town. I got nothing. If it would make everyone feel better I will contact people again...but then I don't want to be accused of not looking anymore. I do not like the fact that people don't like the area. This would all be so much easier and happier if it were different. IF we are able to fence in an area at Happy Landings for off-leash dogs I do believe that people would see it's not as bad as they are thinking. I think we should go plot out the plan on the actual field to show everyone (including myself) how much land we are actually looking at.
Home Sweet Home June 06, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Based on the results of the meeting the other night, I disagree. The town doesn't want a dog park, a select few want a dog park,and the immediate neighbors bordering the property, are not ok with it! Apparently, you were not listening at all. We bought it to protect it. It's that simple..
Michelle June 07, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Lisa--I am not taking anything out on you. In fact, if anything I am trying to guide you into finding an appropriate location. You have taken on the responsibility of spearheading this Kanine Kingdom. Along with that responsibility comes answering the hard questions. That is life. You made the choice of advocating for the dog park, this is a reality. Playing the role of the victim does not suit you. Again, I am asking for a third time...what business' and or properties have you inquired about?? Don't give me a song and dance about it being two years. We have heard that already. Have you gone door to door? Which doors? If you are serious about this Kanine Kingdom, its time for the committee to get serious about an appropriate location. If you actually have listened to the community here in town--the majority does NOT want it at Happy Landings. Were we not at the same meeting? You know, when Mr. Davidson informally asked who was in favor and who wasn't? It was a landslide of hands NOT wanting it at Happy Landings. Again, it is permanently, preserved and protected as open space. Moving on. There are other options Lisa. Your committee still has a lot of work ahead of them. Have your dog park. Just have it an appropriate location.
Matt Dewkett June 07, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Lisa, have you contacted Berkshire Corporate Park directly? I know you mentioned businesses, but I think this specific business might be a good bet. There is easy access, etc. http://www.berkshirecorporatepark.com/index.php They have plenty of space, and this truly might be a win-win with some persistence. You can email Chris Steiner directly from the site.
Michelle June 07, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Matt--that is an excellent idea and solid advice! That may be the winning golden ticket for all parties. Wonderful suggestion! Thank you!
Lisa Allan June 07, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Michelle, One more time...I do not have to even read these comments. In fact I've been told my many to just ignore them. I thought it was the right thing to do to answer questions. Done with that unless it's asked from nicely and not demanded. You can ask me for a fourth time if you would like, I don't answer questions asked in that fashion. I am still a person and deserve respect. The BOS meeting is not representative of anything. Of course people are going to come out when they don't want something to happen. I was shocked you didn't have more people. Good night
Lisa Allan June 07, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Matt, I'm not sure if I had contacted them in the past or not. I do appreciate the suggestion, especially in the respectful manner. Right now I need to take myself away from these comments because I shouldn't be getting angry at people. It makes me not want to look elsewhere. Thank you and I will keep that handy
LFerrara June 07, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Shame on the Conservation Committee!!!! I'm disgusted with this nonsense.
barb norman June 07, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Ray - Where did you get the idea that the immediate neighbors were OK with this. I guess you couldn't make the BOS meeting on Monday night - the immediate neighbors were out in force and are totally against it - to clarify - they (and we) are NOT AGAINST THE DOG PARK! We are against having it A. at Happy Landings, and B. in any residential areas,
barb norman June 07, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Lisa - you say "the town wants a dog park". Well obviously there are many citizens in town who do NOT want it at Happy Landings. You say that all miscreants will be dealt with thru "peer pressure". Please, get real. Anyone who would misuse a facility thru pure selfishness, is certainly not going to be cowed my another person, who has no authority, telling them to pick up their dog's waste, or to remove themselves and their dog. If inappropriate behavior could be negated by mere verbal disapproval, there would be very little need for police forces in this country.
Jim Marks June 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM
We need a teen center before we get a dog park! Maybe we can take happy landings and make it into a youth center so kids who are brought up in bad houses can have somewhere to go rather than do drugs and alcohol
Andrew Turkenkopf June 07, 2012 at 11:57 PM
While a teen center is a good idea, that would more be a town funded thing, and obviously, not the place, since cannot build buildings at Happy Landings. But making a teen center somewhere in town, perhaps in an existing building would be good.
Jamie June 10, 2012 at 09:46 PM
If I had an unmarried daughter, I would want to fix you up with her! You are well spoken, objective and fuuuuuunny! Just what this thread needs!
Jamie June 10, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I wish people would be rational on this issue, not accusing and maligning. Really, Jill...address the issue. If you don't like the idea of a dog park, we can accept this, you have a right to your opinion. But the validity of your statement diminishes with personal attacks.
Jamie June 10, 2012 at 09:51 PM
That is far more rational! And we would love to consider other sites, as the Happy Landings sites seems to generate a protective vibe from many. But we have to go with what the conservation committee recommends,
Jamie June 10, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Lisa Allan June 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Just going on the record here saying that the opposition has gone too far. The personal attacks and assumptions of who I am have gone too far. I thought the name calling and twisting of words was over. I believe I've taken enough bullying and abuse from the opposition and am allowed to finally say that's enough. I know it was mostly on the Facebook page and I've removed myself from that page, but you haven't played fair and you've misled people. The town will know the truth and not the lies you are feeding them. Town officials believe the best area for the dog park is an acre of land on happy landings. Vote yes for the park June 18th 7pm at the brookfield ha auditorium. Stop being lied to.
Lisa Allan June 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Yes, I said bullies!
Trisha Parque June 11, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Lisa, you have posted on lost dog sites where you know you will find bleeding-heart animal lovers and asked ppl from around the globe to join you to shout down your opposition. You have Liked a comment on one of those sites that calls anyone who opposes a dog park at Happy Landings a "crazy". You have gone onto a site set up for supporters of keeping Happy Landings free of fences and said "F you" to one of my friends who doesn't like your dirty tactics. YOU ARE THE BULLY. You believe you are entitled to land in Brookfield - that the question isn't if Brookfield should have a dog park, but rather where that dog park should be. And, if no one can tell you where that should be, then you think you are entitled to an acre of Happy Landings by default. You tell ppl who oppose you that they are costing the tax payers money for a meeting when it is the ppl who want to change Happy Landings who are responsible for imposing this (and probably many more expenses to come) on the tax payers of Brookfield. You're angry that this decision isn't being made by just a few ppl who want the park. You refuse to see that anyone who doesn't agree with you could possibly be right and you are relentless in trying to wear ppl out. Yet you say that you are being bullied???
Trisha Parque June 11, 2012 at 04:05 AM
If Kanine Kingdom is not asking for the town's money, does that mean that you have collected money to pay the 8K for the meeting necessary to approve or disapprove the fencing of this land?


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