Columbia Local Park Renovation to Include Dog Park and New Tennis/Pickleball/Soccer/Futsal Courts

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During its July 29th meeting, the Montgomery County Planning Board will review the design for the renovation of Columbia Local Park at 14900 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville.

Per the planning board documents, the recommended facility plan converts the two existing tennis courts into a dog park. The dog park consists of an 8,200-square-foot large dog area and a 2,700-square-foot small dog area, both accessed via a central, double-gated vestibule that allows owners to safely leash and unleash their dogs before entering or exiting the park.

Each enclosure is concrete paved and contains a pet turf play mound. Several benches line the perimeter of the dog park and each dog area has its own drinking fountain and trash receptacles. A shade structure spans the two enclosures, and additional trees will be planted around the exterior of the dog park, providing shade on hot days. A five-foot-tall chain link fence surrounds the dog park and each enclosure contains a double-leafed gate to allow maintenance access.

The large, abandoned paved area will be converted into one tennis court, four pickleball courts, a soccer court, and a small gathering area with shade structure. The tennis court and soccer court will each be surrounded by a ten-foot-tall chain link fence. Each court will have direct access for players as well as a double-leafed maintenance gate to facilitate leaf removal and other maintenance activities.

The pickleball courts will be separated by three-foot-tall fences and contain openings at the corners to allow players access to the courts from the east and the west. Based on the strong advocacy for pickleball expressed in the 2021 Open Town Hall Forum comments, the pickleball overlay on the tennis court was added back to the plan and will provide two additional pickleball courts when tennis isn’t being played.

The paved area just south of the soccer court and west of the pickleball courts will contain a drinking fountain, benches, picnic tables and a shade structure. This area provides a space for players to congregate while waiting for a court to free up or to socialize after a match.

The plan recommends painting the existing large shelter south of the proposed dog park and adding additional picnic tables to renew the facility. Proposed improvements also include enhanced pedestrian access to this portion of Columbia Local Park.

Within the parking lot, two existing parking spaces will be converted into ADA-compliant accessible parking spaces, and the parking lot will be renovated.

To connect the park to the neighborhood to the north, a set of stairs or ramp will be built into the steep slope just north of the proposed dog park, connecting the existing path that terminates there to the parking lot. The existing pathway between the old tennis courts and baseball field will be renovated to provide accessibility into and between the new amenities.

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