BULLHEAD CITY — Creating a dog beach at Rotary Park appears to be closer to reality after years of planning and discussions. 

The Parks and Recreation Commission has recommended that a section of Colorado River shoreline due west of the current dog park at the northwest tip of Rotary Park be designated as a dog beach. 

It would be fenced off for dogs to have fun in and out of the water under the watchful eye of their owners, said Jack Hakim, who sits on the commission and is a former Bullhead City mayor.

The area would be 200 feet long and 125 feet into the park area, with the fence running along the three sides of beach. The side facing the river portion would be open.

“It has been talked about for some time,” Hakim said recently. “Quite some time ago we discussed having a beach park at Rotary for our furry friends.”

Holding up the project was cost for a fence and finding a suitable spot along the river, Hakim said.  

The fence securing the site of the new Holiday Inn Express in the 1200 block of Silver Creek Road could be used to surround the dog beach at Rotary, Hakim noted. 

The dog beach isn’t included in this year’s parks budget so work at the site wouldn’t start until July 1 at the earliest — the first day of the 2020-21 fiscal year, said Dave Heath, the city’s Parks and Recreation superintendent.

Having the beach area stop at the ordinary high-water mark of 5 feet also eliminates the need for approval from the federal government, Hakim said.

Heath intends to allocate $15,000 for signs, a dog waste clean-up station, cement to secure the fence and other needs to create the beach space.

“You can walk your dog into the area, take the dog off-leash, play with your dog in the water, throw balls, what have you,” Heath said.

There is a shade ramada and tree to further help ward off summer heat. And it’s within a short walking distance from the dog park. 

During the commission meeting in January, Chair Terry Shurte pointed out some potential problems that could arise with designating a dog beach, such as people tethering personal watercraft to the fence, youths tying boards up to the fence and riding them, and even people jumping off the fence.

Shurte voted against making the recommendation to the city council.

City Attorney Garn Emery pointed out that state law requires that such an amenity provide controlled containment of the dogs within it. That means fencing would be necessary so dogs could play off-leash. A dog not within a contained area would be considered running at-large and its owner would be cited.

The council could hear the commissioners’ recommendation as soon as next month.

This would be Bullhead City’s first dog beach, Hakim emphasized.

The dog park at Rotary opened in 2012 and was built with private money. Bullhead Community Park also has a dog park.

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