Auditorium Shores lawn could soon be off limits to dogs


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 9:03 AM

AUSTIN -- Auditorium Shores is in for a big makeover.

C3, the company that puts on the Austin City Limits Music Festival every year, is giving the City of Austin more than $3 million to renovate Auditorium Shores. However part of the proposal, from the 1999 Town Lake Master Plan, includes getting rid of a large part of the leash-free dog park.

The foot and paw traffic combined with the drought has turned a once green space into dirt.

According to the master plan, developers hope to move the shoreline access for dogs further west and cut off access to dogs entirely at the open space currently zoned as “leash free.”

Some dog owners KVUE spoke with say the new space is not big enough to accommodate all the dogs and the terrain is too rough.

"That area is not really good for the dogs to run around in because it's all rocky and [there are] lots of little bushes and stuff like that. So I don't think you'd have enough close to the same effect that you get down here with them running around,” said one dog owner.

Currently the six-acre leash-free dog park butts up to the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. There are those in favor of keeping the area more “run friendly.”

“This section can be tough. Sometimes people aren't paying attention to what their dogs are doing and you'll be running and a dog will run right in front of you,” a regular trail runner told KVUE.

One dog owner suggested a compromise similar to Zilker Park where the space is off-limits to dogs before and during events but open to dogs the rest of year.

There is one more chance for public input on the proposed changes to Auditorium Shores. Those interested in sharing their concerns can go to the Dougherty Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information and a map of the proposed changes go here. 

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