The Great Debate: Magnolia Manor

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UPDATE:  The Board of Park Commissioners has unanimously approved Magnolia Manor for permanency, with some conditions.  They’d like to explore better signage, shorter hours, and a custom stewarding agreement to help encourage our good neighbor policy.   So not permanent yet, but on its way!  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED US in our effort to make this park permanent.  It is the only place dogs can legally be off-leash in Magnolia, other than yards (if you have one!).  It was essential that we won this right for Seattle dog owners.


Magnolia Manor, To Be or Not To Be? There are in fact two sides to every story. It is our duty as rational minded individuals to take a step away from any situation and examine things logically before any judgment is passed. There is an article on Magnolia Voice,, “The Other Side to Magnolia’s Off Leash Dog Area.” In the article, the group opposing the park depicts the area as a previously peaceful area that the dog run “has brought daily (and nightly) noise and filth”. Out of the whole entire article, only one small paragraph has any bearing on the actual park itself. The only two legitimate complaints are the barking and people not picking up after their dogs. Both of these problems can be easily resolved.

The extensive list of crimes and issues in Magnolia is highly unlikely to have come about from a dog park’s mere existence. The article claims that the dog park has brought about a variety of crime to the area including: break-ins, thefts, vandalism, auto theft, drug sales, an ever-changing enclave of people living in a camper on 23rd and Gilman, increased graffiti, car break ins, and property thefts. If these crimes were a direct result of a dog park, the city would be seeing a similiar trend around other off-leash areas. However there has been no such trend around other off-leash areas. Unfortunately today, crime is crime.

However, the dissenters to the Magnolia Manor Off-leash Area do bring to light a valid point. Owners do need to be reminded that our off-leash area dog parks are a privilege, not a right. In an effort to increase compliance, new signage for the park rules has been created and posted in each of the parks. This matter is a perfect example of how the COLA Board, Seattle Parks Department, Park Stewards, and the community can work together to create off-leash areas that are a beloved amenity to both dogs and the neighborhoods where they live.

The idea of closing a dog park for reasons not of its doing is innappropriate. Magnolia Manor Park is a beautiful little slice of heaven for pups, despite its size of only 20,000 sq feet. It’s a teardrop shaped park that has an ADA compliant asphalt path along the side from gate to gate, a chipped play area on the short side and gravel in the middle for the “chuck-it” crowd, as well as some small areas of grass. It also boasts one of Seattle’s few Small/Shy areas.

Magnolia Manor Park has a Good Neighbor Policy:

  1. Prevent/Discourage Barking
  2. Observe Quiet Hours: Avoid use 10pm-7am
  3. Please Pick Up After Your Dog
  4. Do NOT Tolerate Bullying.



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