Opponents of the League City Dog Park cited survey data from the Parks and Open Space Master Plan.
This is copied from page 29 of the maser plan regarding the manor in which the survey was conducted and the results:
“3.1.A Survey Background
A mail-in survey was created, distributed, and analyzed as part of the parks planning process to determine the City’s park needs as voiced by the City’s residents. The survey was designed to gain insight into current perceptions and use of parks, recreation, and open space; residents’’ recreational interests; and priorities for the future park and open space improvements. The survey was distributed to all 18,958 current known households in the City. Respondents were asked to complete a single survey for all members of their households. Of the 18,958 surveys sent, 1,892 surveys were returned to the City within the allotted time, a response rate of almost 10.0% that compares favorably with the 6.78% rate of the 1995 Master Plan survey.
It is important to note that the survey respondents are a self-selected sample (i.e. they were not randomly chosen), and therefore the survey’s results cannot be directly applied to all City residents. Instead, the survey must be treated like the comments received at a public meeting, where those who attend generally have a significant interest in the topic of discussion. The survey data accurately reflects the concerns of those residents who had sufficient interests in parks and open spaces to voice their preference through a survey.”
The people at the city council meeting July 14, did not mention the above information. Instead, those opposed to the dog park cited the information below from the survey; the survey which clearly states that it is not actually representative of the citizens. It is like the sticker on your car mirror that says objects may be closer than they appear, you can use the mirror but you should not really trust it to be accurate. The same can be said of the 2005 survey data:
“Question Text: Regarding possible future projects for which the City could allocate resources, please indicate the level of importance you would place on the following projects?”
The last four items on the list, behind such items as an indoor swimming facility, an environmental center, and a water park are listed:
Dog Park with 37% in favor and 47% opposed,
Fairgrounds with 31% in favor and 51% opposed,
Skateboard/in-line skate park 30% in favor and 51% opposed
and lastly, Indoor soccer facility with only 19% in favor and 62% opposed.
In case you were not aware, League City has both a skateboard/in-line park and an indoor soccer facility. We do not, however, have a dog park. The dog park was voted on and approved twice and the current city council chose to bring it back again for vote until they got the result they wanted, which was a majority of no votes on the project.
You can download the complete Open Space & Master Plan from the City’s website: