Lexington's plan for a dog park is growing.
The town plans to lease 8.9 acres of land on Hendrix Street from the county for fenced-in areas for dogs to run around unleashed.
Town leaders originally planned to used a 2-acre section of Virginia Hylton Park for the project, said Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre, but opening the dog park on the Hendrix Street property will be cheaper and give the town more space for the park.
The dog park could include one fenced-in area for small dogs and one for big dogs, Halfacre said. The park could also have dog showers and dog water fountains.
But the park won't just be for the dogs, Halfacre said.
"It's not only a dog park. It's a people park," he said. "It's really bigger than bringing your dogs out and letting them run. It really becomes a community meeting place."
Lexington County Council approved the first reading of an ordinance leasing the land to the town for $1 at its meeting Tuesday. Council has two more readings of the ordinance before it's officially passed.
The land is located between Barr Road and Duffie Drive on Hendrix Street near the Lexington Soccer Complex.
"There's not much else we can do with (the land)," county councilman Johnny Jeffcoat said at Tuesday's meeting. "The town will make good use of a property we can't use."
The town already set aside $25,000 in its budget to start building the park, Halfacre said. The project will cost about $50,000 total.
Town staff members have researched dog parks and are developing a plan of action, Halfacre said, but they aren't sure when work will start on the park.
Town leaders decided to open a dog park as a service to Lexington residents, Halfacre said. The park will give dog owners constrained by small yards and the town's leash ordinance a space to bring their four-legged friends.
"We want to have a state of the art dog park," Halfacre said. "When it's complete, we're going to have a tremendous asset for this community."