The proposed off-leash dog park Kanine Kingdom will not be built at the Gurski property. This became official with a decision from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which has given two matching grants toward preservation efforts on the property through the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCCT).
The , Brookfielders Keith Wolff and Gwendolyn Peterson, considered the Gurski property a prime location for the park and to move forward with that effort, with the stipulation that the project gain state approval.
The Historic Preservation Office sent a letter to First Selectman Bill Davidson on June 13 stating that they were “concerned that additional traffic would compromise the preservation of the buildings” — — both of which are undergoing renovations through grants from the CCCT.
“SHPO’s primary concern is with the preservation of the home and barn,” explained Judy Heise, chairman of the Gurski Commission, they steward.
The property was awarded the first grant in December 2009 and the Gurski Commission accepted with it a “preservation restriction,” Heise said, which limits the scope of uses on the property.
[The community gardens were already on the property at the time the first grant was signed, according to Heise, and while not directly related to preservation, have been allowed to remain.]
The Supporters of Kanine Kingdom (SOKK) are continuing in their mission undeterred.
“We’re not discouraged,” Wolff said. “We’ve had enough good, positive interest to know that people want this.”
Wolff said Wednesday that he had spoken with Davidson and Parks and Recreation Director Dennis DiPinto about alternative locations in town and had made tentative plans to walk three properties in the next few weeks: Happy Landings (left of the entrance, near the parking area), the Burr property (in an empty field off a path before Shakespeare’s Garden) and Eriksen Farm Open Space (also known as the Nabby Road property).
“We’re looking for a flat area with good drainage that would be appropriate for a dog facility,” Wolff said, adding that the ideal location would be “something where we’re going to be good neighbors.”
“I don’t think there will be a perfect property,” he admitted, “But we’ll work to minimize any problems.”