Downtown Phoenix dog park campaign catches mayor's attention

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PHOENIX – Residents who are pet owners in downtown Phoenix do not have a dog park and are fighting to change that.

City of Phoenix officials are working on new developments and attractions to attract more people downtown.

A 90,000-square-foot pit in the center of downtown Phoenix was once a Ramada Inn hotel and there are plans for it to become a paved parking lot.

Sean Sweat said he is working feverishly to stop that from happening. He has proposed a dog park because he claims there are about 800 dog owners in the area.

“We already have 14,000 excess parking spaces in downtown,” he said.

Sweat began a viral campaign on Twitter with a petition to bolster support. His campaign is called “Love Dogs Not Cars” and the campaign has caught the attention of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

The mayor called a news conference Wednesday to announce the formation of a dog park committee. Gordon said he supports the dog park idea but not the location.

“My request is we focus on available property that can stay medium to long-term use, or city property that could be used,” Gordon said.

The city of Phoenix reportedly wants the space for construction of an Arizona State University law school campus but has to generate money with a parking lot for now.

Sweat and his supporters propose designating half of the lot for parking and the other half for the dog park. The group behind “Love Dogs Not Cars” will present its case at a hearing to the Phoenix Board of Adjustment Thursday.