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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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What is the process for adding new off-leash areas?

New off-leash areas may be proposed through PP&R's Park Proposal Process.

Proposers should consider the off-leash area siting criteria, which were developed by Portland Parks & Recreation and a Citizen Task Force, as well as staff's key operational considerations. These criteria and considerations are used to help determine whether off-leash use is a good fit for a park, and to gauge the proposed area’s potential to be a healthy, safe site for dogs to play.

Siting Criteria

Off-Leash Areas should:

  • Be a minimum of 5,000 square feet
  • Avoid affecting fish and wildlife habitat
  • Avoid risk to water quality
  • Be relatively level
  • Have minimal impact on adjacent residential areas
  • Be away from playgrounds
  • Be close to parking
  • Be distributed throughout the city (Note: PP&R is unable to provide an off-leash area in every park. In determining where new areas may be appropriate, staff assesses proximity of proposed site to existing off-leash areas.)

Operational Considerations

  • Slope and heavy tree canopy should be avoided wherever possible
  • Areas should be dry and irrigated rather than wet
  • Playgrounds should be away from dogs
  • Park's main circulation should be outside off-leash areas
  • Avoid siting OLAs adjacent to streets with heavy traffic
  • Consider areas with current high dog off-leash use