Katy sets new parks restrictions to slow spread of coronavirus

Katy's dog park is closed until further notice. (Courtesy Jess Washburn/City of Katy)
Katy's dog park is closed until further notice. (Courtesy Jess Washburn/City of Katy)

Katy's dog park is closed until further notice. (Courtesy Jess Washburn/City of Katy)

Most city of Katy parks remain open, but they now have new access restrictions.

The dog park located at 5414 Franz Road, Katy, is now closed, but Town Park, VFW Park and Thomas Park remain open as alternatives for residents to walk their pets, according to an announcement posted to the city of Katy website March 24.

"We want you to be able to walk your dog at these three alternate parks," Katy Parks and Recreation Coordinator Elysia Rodriguez said. "We want people to be able to enjoy fresh air and have as normal of a daily life as they can during this experience."

Public areas in open parks such as playgrounds, pavilions, restrooms, basketball and tennis courts are closed, Rodriguez said.

The city's announcement urged locals to stay at least 6 feet apart and maintain proper hygiene at all times when out in public parks, which have social distancing signs as a reminder as of March 26.

These changes came after Mayor Bill Hastings said individuals were not abiding social distancing rules at the March 23 Katy City Council meeting and in response to the Harris County and Fort Bend County Stay-At-Home and Work Safe orders adopted March 24.

"We can [stop the virus], and we can do it by following the instructions that people who are much smarter than us are giving us," Hastings said at the March 23 meeting. "There are basic things we can do, and we are not doing them. ... I will be here every day until this is over. ... No matter where we go, I know the city is going to be unified after."

The Katy Police Department will aim to enforce social distancing in public spaces.

"We will enforce the city ordinances with respect and common sense," Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz said. "Officers will use his or her discretion to mitigate each violation. We hope to inform our community about social distancing instead of issuing a citation. We just ask people to adhere to governor Abbott’s recommended social distancing."

By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.


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