Lakewood/Rocky River Dog Park Lawsuit Heading to a Close

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A visual representation of Lakewood and Rocky Rivers relationship.
  • A visual representation of Lakewood and Rocky River's relationship.

As the Moroccan Jewish saying goes, “Do not respond to a barking dog.”

Rocky River could have avoided a lot of trouble and saved a mound of tax dollars by heeding those words. Instead it sued neighboring Lakewood when a handful of residents on the eastern edge of town complained about incessant barking emanating from Lakewood’s dog park, nestled just across the valley
in the Metroparks.

But at long last, the Great Suburban Doggie Trial of 2010 has come to an end. After two weeks of testimony, during which the mayors of both cities took the stand, attorneys will file briefs arguing their cases, and judge Carolyn Friedland — the same judge who initially threw the case out — will render her decision. The process could take a month or more.

Chad Bray, from Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park, is cautiously optimistic. “My sense is that there weren’t any surprises,” he says. “It went pretty much how you’d expect. The plaintiff said there’s lots of barking and it’s loud. We responded that there’s not that much barking and it’s not loud enough to
be bothersome.”

Regardless of the outcome, the Rocky River residents for whom the case was filed would do well to remember the Danish proverb: “An honest man is not the worse because a dog barks at him.” And you never see Danish people bitching about dog parks.

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