FW: questions on dog parks

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Karen Paul

Apr 11, 2011, 10:15:19 PM4/11/11
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From John Vickery, the City Assessor…


From: John Vickery [mailto:jvic...@ci.burlington.vt.us]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 2:44 PM
To: Paul, Karen; Eugene Bergman
Subject: RE: questions on dog parks


Hi Karen,

If someone wanted to use their property as a dog park they would have to have Zoning permit approval which would allow that type of use.  A really good lease agreement may limit the liability of the owner and put the liability on to the lessee (City).  I am not aware of any legal tax exemption for a private owner.  The owner may charge a fee which would cover the taxes. That would need to be outlined in the lease.




From: Karen Paul [mailto:pau...@sover.net]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 12:34 PM
To: Eugene Bergman; John Vickery
Subject: questions on dog parks


Hi Gene and John,


We had a dog park meeting this morning and the subject of private property owners wanting to allow the use of their land for a dog park came up.


My question(s) is: what would be the best way to set that up if someone did want to allow that use?  Would there be liability on the part of the owner of the property or is there a way legally either by some sort of limited transfer or agreement  the city could be liable?  And lastly, would there be a scenario under which there could be some tax benefit to the property owner for doing this?  And how would that need to be set up?


Ok, so four questions.  If either of you can answer them, I’d appreciate it.  Our group is not meeting until May 9 so please don’t rush.


Thanks for your time,





Karen Paul

Ward 6 City Councilor

171 Crescent Road

Burlington, Vermont

802.598.5994 (cell), 802.862.1545 (office)

on the web at karenpaulvt.com

Facebook: karen paul

Twitter: http://twitter.com/karen_paul


Karen Paul

Apr 11, 2011, 10:16:50 PM4/11/11
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Last one. From Assistant City Attorney Gene Bergman...

-----Original Message-----
From: Eugene Bergman [mailto:EBer...@ci.burlington.vt.us]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 3:47 PM
To: John Vickery; Paul, Karen
Cc: Richard Haesler
Subject: RE: questions on dog parks


I think John has touched basics. It is not clear if you are proposing that
the city be involved in the management of a park on private property. There
are important insurance details that we'd need to consider if we were
leasing property to operate a dog park, as well as the cost of leasing and
running the program. Without the city running such a program on such private
property, it would be an extremely risky venture for the city to take on any
liability because we'd have no control over our liability. I agree that
there is no property tax exemption for property leased to the city solely on
the basis of it being leased to the city. Rent or another fee would be the
means to cover the use of the property. And again, as John said, the use
would have to conform to zoning requirements. One of the zoning
considerations is that it also seems that this use would be a commercial
use, even if it is only a break even proposition, thereby bringing into play
whether or not it is an allowable use in whatever zoning districts it is


From: John Vickery

Carolyn Bates

Apr 12, 2011, 12:41:32 AM4/12/11
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Thank you for doing this so promptly.
Carolyn L. Bates Photography
Address:    PO Box 1205, Burlington, VT 05402
Phone:    (802) 238-4213

Find out more by visiting My Blog or my Facebook Fan Page

Carolyn Bates

Apr 12, 2011, 1:24:58 AM4/12/11
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Based on what Karen has found, I would say, lets all work very hard to get the wooded area in South Crest to be our ward 5 dog park.

Thank you Joan for finding this location with Steve Goodkind, and thank you Karen, for the follow up on liability on private land dog parks, and follow up from Steve Goodkind.

Everyone agree?   Please send your comments. 

Carolyn Bates

Carolyn L. Bates Photography
Address:    PO Box 1205, Burlington, VT 05402
Phone:    (802) 238-4213

Phil LaVigne

Apr 12, 2011, 5:00:52 AM4/12/11
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sounds good.......
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