New dog park, garden coming to the Niles Housing Commission

NILES — Niles Housing Commission residents will soon have a new place to take their furry friends.

Wednesday evening, the Niles Planning Commission approved a dog park to be built for residents of the Niles Housing Commission, 251 Cass St., Niles. The planning commission also approved a garden to be built on the same parcel of land, which would be partitioned off from the dog park.

Niles Housing Commission Chair Sanya Vitale estimates the fenced-in dog park will cost $15,000 with funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. All supplies for the garden have been donated by Better Daze.

“Our residents have been asking for a dog park for quite a while,” Vitale said. “We will also be putting some money toward our gazebo, our fishing pond, and we are getting new picnic tables, new benches, new chairs. I think it’s going to look fantastic.”

The housing commission owns the property across the street from the commission’s residential building, which is where the dog park will be placed.

“For years I’ve thought, ‘man we should do something with this,’” Vitale said. “We would have this amazing opportunity in the downtown for folks to have this little dog park.”

Vitale said the dog park was specifically meant to serve Niles Housing Commission residents, but as the park will be on a city parcel, it will be shared with the community.

Though the city of Niles does have an existing dog park in the Ruff and Tumble Dog Park, located on Bond Street, Vitale said it can be difficult for Niles Housing Commission residents to access, as many residents are elderly, disabled or have mobility aids. She said the new dog park would provide a convenient, close place for them to spend outdoor time with their dogs.

“With our downtown revolution, we want to ensure that our friends and neighbors who live down there really have an opportunity to thrive as well, so that’s why we are hoping to invest in this dog park,” Vitale said.

The park was approved unanimously by all present commissioners.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Vitale said the housing commission planned to obtain the necessary permits for the dog park with the next week, and hopes to see the project complete roughly a month after permits are received.

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