The large dog park at the Villa Chanticleer has become a source of hot contention this week as the recommendation of a special subcommittee to relocate the dog park came to light through an .
The , which opposes the relocation, is rallying supporters to attend the Wednesday, July 11 meeting of the Healdsburg Parks and Recreation Commission, when a vote is expected regarding the subcommittee's recommendations.
The Parks and Rec Commission meeting will be 6 p.m. at An agenda lists the Villa Chanticleer issues for "action."
“Regardless of what changes need to be made at the Villa Chanticleer, the dog park is not one of those that’s necessary or warranted,” said who owns a local pet sitting service and is one of the community leaders who helped establish dog parks in Healdsburg in the early 2000s.
In the “History of the Healdsburg Dog Parks,” Pietropaoli compiled the steps taken in the creation of both the small dog park in and the large dog park at the Villa.
“The creation of the Badger and Villa Dog Parks has, from the start, been a mutually beneficial collaboration between the City of Healdsburg and the Healdsburg Dog Park Committee,” Pietropaoli wrote.
“The Villa and Badger Dog Parks both continue to be extremely successful in providing safe environments and places of enjoyment for people and their dogs,” she continued.
The dog park relocation idea came up as part of a wider exploration of improvements needed at Villa Chanticleer, which has been faced with declining revenues from its catering and event rental operations as well as its bar service.
In addition to a decrease in the Villa's enterprise operations revenue, the , which holds the liquor license to operate the bar at the Villa, has also been faced with declining profits, according to Legion member and former Healdsburg fire Chief Bob Taylor.
A subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Commission was formed earlier this year to evaluate what could be done to ramp up profits and spice up business.
Taylor, who sat on the subcommittee, said he has experienced conflicts between wedding parties and animal lovers at the venue.
“If they want to turn the Villa into a high-end event center, the dog park is inappropriate,” said Taylor.
Other sources close to the subcommittee say the city has been approached by several local businesses that want to run the complex as a bar-restaurant and conference center. That option would likely lead to limits on community access to the popular location.
The was purchased in the mid-1950s with the original intent to make it a community center. Local veterans groups were to be given preference to the location and facilities.