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No Kanine Kingdom at Gurski; Organizers Considering Three Alternative Spots

State denies use of Gurski property for dog park, citing preservation as main objective.

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.”

Steven DeVaux June 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM
The area directly behind town hall is the perfect location for community inclusion of dog lovers at the municipal center. It provides ADA access year round and is not out in the "boon docks". It has restroom facilities for the dog owners as well. It's the same reason they don't place Kids Kingdom 2 in any of those areas. It's all about community inclusion and participation.
Bill Tinsley June 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Aaron, A few questions you may want to ask for a follow-up article. 1) By what authority did our appointed Gurski commission give Gurski property "project approval/veto rights" to the State Historic Preservation Office? From my point-of-view, it is interesting to note that we must now ask a state commission for approval for the use of property the Brookfield Taxpayers purchased. As I recall, we did not get any state funding for the purchase of this property? Should we give the grant money back to the state?
wen peterson of Brookfield June 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM
The important thing is NOT that the Gurski spot is out, but that the fenced in, off leash dog park dream is STARTING afresh, with lots of ideas to discuss. As Duane said earlier--this could be the start of something big, and wonderful for the town of Brookfield. Whay are the pros and cons of each spot, Mr D?
jamrsr June 30, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Dog park behind Town Hall - do you mean where they hold the Easter Egg Hunts? Do you really think this area will not smell? Something for the mothers and fathers to inhale when they take their children to the playgound.
Aaron Boyd (Editor) June 30, 2011 at 02:01 PM
When the Gurski Commission accepted the grants for the home and barn they agreed to stipulations that that portion of the property would be used solely for historic preservation — whether the town should accept funding with stipulations attached is a community discussion.
David Propper June 30, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Bill, are you recommending that we give back the grants that we received from the state or are you trying to educate the voters that sometimes state grants come with strings attached? I hope it is the second.
Jane Gallagher June 30, 2011 at 04:41 PM
@jamrsr - The Easter egg hunts we attended were held to the side of the Town hall building, on the right hand side, not behind the building. I think directly behind our town hall is a lovely place for us dog lovers! We of course will "curb" our animals, so there will be no "smell", and we could have doggie baggie stands, for curbing, like they do in the public parks. I bet the dog area will be cleaner than the kid area which is left disgusting after the weekend - shame on those who leave all sorts of garbage behind for others to clean up. Our children can play on the playground while our dogs are playing and active nearby. This is long over due for us dog lovers - @Keith Wolff - Keith - if you need support contact us! Jane Gallagher and family (which includes our 3 dogs!!) : ) janegal@aol.com P.S. I lived in Seattle and dogs are welcome in all parks, the parks and towns are clean and pristine and the people respect their public areas - you never see a family without their dog... no vandalism and rig-a-morole like we are seeing now in Brookfield, CT. I have never seen such red tape like here in Brookfield, we can't even get clean water in this town. Shame on Brookfield and the state of CT for all the red tape they impart on the residents of Brookfield! Getting off my soapbox now : )
jamrsr June 30, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Jane, I attended the hunt this year. Could have sworn we walked thru the building, across the lot & into the fenced in area behind the building. Down the hill to the left is Kids Kingdom and a soccer field which I have never seen a disgusting mess after or during the weekend. Brookfield welcomes dogs just as Seattle - just keep them on a leash in public areas and pickup after them. I also do not think dogs & their owners all over town will stop any vandalism and "rig-a-morole". All dog owners will NOT pickup after their dogs especially if no one is around! I can understand your wanting an area to let them run free, but believe proper planning and investigation of all possible sites (with unbiased pros and cons) should be done prior to putting any shame on Brookfield.
Jane Gallagher June 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM
@jamrsr - Honestly, we did not attend this years egg hunt - but in the past it was held on the side lawn so that is a usable spot for the Egg Hunt, as many areas in the park that could be where the Egg hunt is held. My point - the egg hunt is a movable event. Obviously the area should not be where children play or do egg hunts - but an area that is near Kids Kingdom - since folks need an area to bring there dogs. oh and in regards to Planning and investigation, hmmm - well there is a lot to be said for planning and investigation but if it is anything like what is going on with our Uranium laced water situation than I am sure that it will be a very long time before Brookfield residents get a dog area. Us Greenridge folks have had undrinkable water for the last decade or more due to "Planning and investigation" - I would bet we never get a dog park. Sorry - but highly disappointed in not having water I can drink for the last decade, let alone a dog park. One last thought - folks, we already bring our dogs to the park. We just need an area that is unused like behind the Town hall - for our dogs to call there own, that area truly is unused.
Steven DeVaux June 30, 2011 at 08:25 PM
At least the dogs won't leave behind $15,000 worth of vandalism in an evening like last weekend with the destruction and defacement of personal property and nary an arrest. Ain't Brookfield great or what?
Greg Van Hoof July 01, 2011 at 04:39 AM
This isn't Seattle, there are alot of irresponsible dog owners in this town. My property borders Happy Landing Park. And dogs run on to my property every day and leave a calling card. Not once have I seen an owner follow up with pick up. Just screaming for their pet to return. That leads me to the problem with leash laws. My children play out side all the time ,and dogs run up to them while playing out side in their yard . Until this canine park issue's started , I did not now dogs were supposed to be on leashes in all parks. Maybe I should start filling police reports for violators. I don't want strange dogs on my property.
Steven DeVaux July 03, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Man's best friend. For millenia. I wonder if any of the selectmen considering these proposals even have a pooch as a pet?
Jane Gallagher July 14, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Get a fence. Dog poop actually is protecting your kids - deers smell the dogs and stay away - better a dog and a little poo, than a lyme disease carrying deer - lyme disease - not such a good thing. Think of the silver lining Greg - dogs are great - I would take a dog as a neighbor before wanting you as one! Do yourself a favor and don't harrass folks with dogs - we just want to run and play!
Jane Gallagher July 14, 2011 at 08:17 PM
You go Steven! I have three and always room for more! Dogs rule - people drool!
Steven DeVaux July 15, 2011 at 03:33 AM
As I understand it now Jane, man's best friend apparently isn't theirs.
Howard Lasser July 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Once again Steve, you have misrepresented the facts. The Board of Selectmen stated unequivocally that we support a dog park. We stated that we are working with Kieth Wolff to find the best possible place.
Steven DeVaux July 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM
It's not a fact that neither you nor the first selectmen own dogs?
Howard Lasser July 15, 2011 at 02:59 PM
First of all, I am not sure I see the relevance. It is like saying only people with kids in school care about education, or only those who live by the lake care about the quality of the water? I think that is a very short sighted view. To me, regardless of personal circumstances, I recognize the validity of each individual’s personal priorities and the need to balance those needs and wants to help preserve and improve the quality of life in Brookfield for all. It is about the Community! Having said that the facts are that for as long as I have known Bill Davidson, dogs have been a part of his family. He currently has two dogs that, to my observations, are as much a part of his family as his grandchildren. When my children were young we had a Boxer. You should remember that Steve as you were at my house during that time. We currently do not have a dog.
wen peterson of Brookfield August 21, 2011 at 01:36 PM
I want a dog park...And my Mommy picks up my poop.
Steven DeVaux August 21, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Wen, I have no idea why they are dragging their feed on this except to make it an election issue. Steve
Home Sweet Home June 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM
A comment was made at the meeting that the First Selectmen does not want the Dog Park located at the Town Center.

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