Updated: Voters Reject Dog Park at Happy Landings 3:1

Kanine Kingdom organizers will seek a donation of private land.

In similar fashion to , Brookfield residents voted almost 3:1 against in Tuesday’s referendum vote. The final tally was 1,268 against to 431 in favor, a difference of 837 votes.

The vote in District I, Huckleberry Hill Elementary School (HHES), was 347-151; District II, Brookfield High School (BHS), 902-276; and absentee voters went against the measure 19-4.

All totaled, 1,699 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s referendum, representing 16.9 percent of Brookfield's 10,030 registered voters.

Similar referendums in recent history — for  and  — had almost 12 percent and 17 percent voter turnout, respectively.

SOKK to Seek New Location

"People got worried that Happy Landings was going to be demolished by this," Supporters of Kanine Kingdom (SOKK) member Lisa Allan said Tuesday night, "But it wasn't."

Allan, who has led the initiative to build a dog park in town along with SOKK co-founder Keith Wolff, said she's not sure what the group's next step will be now that Happy Landings is no longer an option as a location. Despite the overwhelming numbers against the location, Allan said she was surprised to get 431 "yes" votes in Tuesday's referendum and that the turnout in favor "shows there is obviously a want and a need for a dog park."


Interested in Brookfield news, events, community bulletins, blogs and businesses? Sign up for the free Brookfield Patch daily newsletter, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


While the result was “disappointing,” Wolff said the committee received “a lot of positive feedback from folks in town” about the idea of a dog park, even if the location was rejected.

With the public land options exhausted, Wolff said the committee will be looking for a “generous local developer to donate an acre, give or take.”

Both Allan and Wolff said SOKK plans to continue their efforts to find the right location, though they will probably take a bit of time to relax and regroup in the meantime. 

"We'll take a break and maybe with all the publicity about it somebody will come with a donation," Allan said, "But we haven't heard anything as of yet."

kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 05:29 AM
25% of the town that voted wanted a dog park at happy landings. I'd like to thank those that came out in support of this effort. Its unfortunate that the town cannot provide less than 2% of one park to accommodate what 25% of the town wants.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 05:32 AM
There was never an attempt to keep people in the dark, although there was clearly attempts to scare people.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 05:38 AM
I find it interesting that everyone says they don't want it in Brookfield because people from other towns might come use it. Then they turn around and tell us to use the other towns dog parks.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Its just a fence. BREAKING NEWS! Fences put up around the windmills at happy landings! CHAIN LINK! Maybe i'll just take my dog in that little area. lol. You guys should go to the new milford dog park at some time and see what you voted against.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I think the thank you comments directed to a position stays in good manners. Most are saying "Thank you Brookfield" as if 25% of the voters are not part of the town, that is disrespectful.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 06:24 AM
1 - Its the petitions fault for the wasted $7,000 because Bill Davidson put it directly to a town hall vote, meaning no need for a referendum, there was a open vote scheduled where neither side had an advantage. I wonder if anyone that signed the petition was told about the town meeting vote that was to be held at 7pm on monday? Or were they told that Bill Davidson was trying to pass this through in the dark? 2 - No previously passed legislation was being overturned. This was within use of the 1999 vote of acceptable purposes of the land. This site was proposed by the CONSERVATION commission. 3 - We do need a dog park, I don't see how you can disregard what 25% of the population wants. That's a large % to want something. I doubt 25% would use a ballpark for example. 4 - What numerous places? There has not been one place named by the opposition. I'm serious, where are these locations you mention? 5 - The previous owner of our house was here for 20+ years. We chose to live in this town over someone who had been here for 20 years. I don't know what their situation was since they would never meet with us, we would have loved to learn their history. I can say one thing. There will be a time when many of you will want to sell your houses. We should learn to appreciate the next generation of brookfield rather than trying to make them feel unwanted or inferior.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Tell that to Mitt and the republicans, lol. Nothing is ever over. The best way to end the happy landings debate is to get a dog park put in somewhere, suggestions?
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 06:37 AM
There is already fences on HL, CHAIN LINK around the windmills. Unfortunately your definition of open space is not the legal definition. The dog park fell within open space usage. The dog park proponents do not want a larger parking lot (nor do we care if it does get made larger, it is so insignificant, look on google earth. That was an issue of the opposition, who by the way was against both keeping it the way it is an expanding it.
kevin allan June 30, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Agree we should try again. People were concerned about it being too close to the road, maybe we could put it in the middle. That way there would also be a great amount of space between the park and any houses so there shouldn't be anymore concern with the neighbors. We could propose a 3 acre site instead to help address peoples concerns with the grass, it would be very hard for dogs to tear up that much grass...that problem solved as well. There were also concerns over the fence height not being tall enough, I think it needs to be at least 5'. In terms of the concerns raised on our ability to raise money privately, I see Kids Kindom passed with around $500k budget, we should propose the fence to be covered by taxes, it will be a fraction of that amount. We could also put in the proposal budget for a maintenance person, not really needed but its a concern so something to think about since people didn't like the private funding idea. Thoughts?
Lifelong Resident June 30, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Kevin - why are you still itching for a fight? Happy Landings is no longer an option - no matter WHERE you decide you may want it in the farm.... Look at the property down off of High Meadow - there may be other places that have not yet been explored or suggested. Focus on that - move on, for God's sake....
Michael Gianfranceschi June 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM
hey Kevin no one (or very few) said they did not want a dog park in Brookfield, We did not want it on Happy Landings
barb norman June 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Kevin - yes, please do move on - but before you do, you might want to acknowledge and correct a major math error. 400-something people voted for the dog park at Happy Landings. You quote that as being 25% of the voters who participated - and - you are absolutely correct. However in that same post of June 30, you say "...I don't see how you can disregard what 25% of the population wants..." Are you suggesting that only 1300 or so people live in Brookfield? If you are going to quote numbers, have the decency to quote them correctly. Better ye,t drop it! You lost - be a man, stop whining and for goodness sake stop promulgating false facts.
kevin allan July 01, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Barb...about 16% of residents voted I believe, 25% were in favor. It is a common and accepted practice to extrapolate a sample to a population. If you want we could use actual figures which would mean (est) 12.6% don't want it, 4.3% want it, and 86% had no voice.
kevin allan July 01, 2012 at 08:11 AM
Thanks ..can you tell me more about High Meadow or point me to some information about it? Is it owned by the town / what is its designated use etc ?
Ray F July 01, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Well fine mr. Brainatron 5000.
Todd Fox July 02, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Lisa dear, I believe you meant "wildfire" not wildflowers. Most people like wildflowers.
Todd Fox July 02, 2012 at 03:50 AM
The dog park in Southbury is indeed a wonderful place. Everybody cleans up after their dog, and there are few if any problems. It is absolutely an asset for the town, and a selling point. People and dogs are happy in the dog park because the joy of the dogs is contagious. It seems rude for a resident of Brookfield to suggest that a dog park would "downgrade property value and desecrate such a sacrid (sic) part of Brookfield" followed by a suggestion to "take your dog to some other town's park." We take pride in and take care of our dog park. The number of dogs and people who visit is just about right. I'd hate to see it ruined by bringing too many dogs in, by people who want the advantage of a dog park, but don't want to support one in their own town.
Todd Fox July 02, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Obviously out-of-town dogs are more than welcome at the Southbury Park. But it is fair to say that too many dogs can spoil a dog park. The dogs do best when there's "enough" open space, and the balance we have now is just about right. I wish that all of the towns were willing to step up to the plate and maintain an off leash area. The dogs won't care where it is — as long as they have green grass and a place to run, catch the frisbee, and socialize.
Kathy Polzin July 02, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Lucia - once again, I will say - Thank You for proving my point! "You got off track, the issue was not your life history, it was Kanine Kingdom." I was not giving you my "life history", I was telling you WHY I have an interest in this issue. And I have read ALL the threads re: this issue. There WAS a woman named Tina speaking about this issue on another thread... and she was rude, nasty, and extremely offensive!! I really don't care what you think of my comments, I am allowed to give my opinions just as much as you are allowed to give yours. Free speech. Gotta love it!
Kathy Polzin July 02, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Kevin - do you and Lisa speak at home? She was informed of the High Meadows land. Ask her. She supposedly knows about it.
Kathy Polzin July 02, 2012 at 05:59 AM
86% had a voice, they just chose not to speak. "Had no voice" and did not vote are two entirely different things. No one kept the 86% from voting. They CHOSE not to. Let's stick to the facts.
Ray F July 02, 2012 at 12:47 PM
"had no voice" means they didn't vote... It's a figure of speech
mikasmom July 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM
In Central Park NYC dogs are allowed to be off leash until 9 am. Would it be possible to have a place in Brookfield maybe the Gurski property where dogs could be off leash at a certain time of day without worry of a ticket from the dog warden? That might be the best solution, no fence, no changes of open space, just a place where we could walk our dogs off leash? We go to the dog park in Southbury, the dog beach in New Milford but we would love to stay in our town and walk out two dogs off their leashes. It is more fun for them and us to be off leash. I'm not sure we need a dedicated dog park, we just need a place where we can let our dogs run for a little while without fear of expensive tickets. BTW; we pick up after our dogs everywhere we go, on leash or off.
kevin allan July 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
See below links. Have you visited this site? We drove over there, have you been to this location? I cannot understand why you would propose such a site, it looks like a highly dangerous and polluted location. Never mind the danger of the gas facility with warning signs everywhere, I see no access to any suitible land and there is trash everywhere. http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=958&q=249460 http://brookfield.patch.com/listings/algonquin-gas-transmission-company
Steven DeVaux July 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Bob, Such is the Lasser Legacy.
kevin allan July 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM
People in Brookfield also have open space in their backyards, I don't think fencing in 100s of backyards is a better solution than one area where dogs can play with other dogs and the community can get together.
kevin allan July 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Somehow "had no voice" which is another way of saying "did not participate in the vote" is offensive and incorrect but speaking for 86% of the population and telling people they all chose not to vote is somehow correct? They chose not to vote? I'm sure there were many who would have liked to who could not for one reason or other, and still more who didn't even know a vote was taking place or what it was for. This from the same side of people that were outraged and upset that the town didn't do enough to alert people to the vote. Suddenly all of Brookfield was aware of the vote, able to make it on that specific day, but choose not to go....and you would like me to stick to the facts. Thanks!
kevin allan July 04, 2012 at 05:34 AM
See below links. Have you visited this site? We drove over there, have you been to this location? I cannot understand why you would propose such a site, it looks like a highly dangerous and polluted location. Never mind the danger of the gas facility with warning signs everywhere, I see no access to any suitible land and there is trash everywhere. http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=958&q=249460 http://brookfield.patch.com/listings/algonquin-gas-transmission-company
kevin allan July 04, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Water Pollution Hi Jane - Thoughts on the proposed change to water pollution ordinance? http://brookfieldct.gov/Pages/BrookfieldCT_WebDocs/legalrfp BOS Public Hearing-WPCA Ordinance Chapter 71
Lisa Allan July 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
mikasmom, I don't think people are very worried about being ticketed or fined. People let their dogs off leash all the time even on Town Hall property. The fact of the matter is, it's not like NYC where there are police patrolling. When I go to Happy Landings there are always dogs off leash. The fence is more for safety. You can have a very well trained dog that may still dart after something. They could head straight into the street. With the 4th of July upon us people are setting off fireworks. A dog that may never have been spooked before could get spooked and run. There are many instances of that going on right now. Having a dedicated fenced in area is very much for safety of the dog and others in the community. There are also many other benefits as previously discussed.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »