Montgomery County said it would temporarily stop collecting a $40 dog park permit fee that seemed to have driven users out of the county's dog parks.
The fee was imposed in July, 2010 to make up for budget cuts.
"After noticing a decline in use of the facilities, the department has opted to do away with the fee and will explore other ways to make up the lost revenue," read a statement from Montgomery Parks.
Despite the decline in usage after the fee was applied, the parks department continues to get request for more dog parks, and a survey in 2012 showed strong demand for them - apparently, as long as they don't require a $40 fee.
“Dog parks are such an important resource to the residents of this county, and we regularly receive requests for more,” said Mary Bradford, Director of Montgomery County Department of Parks, in the statement.
“Our parks have come to serve as “backyards” for many residents as our county continues to urbanize," the statement read. "Dog owners should have a free, public place to play with and exercise their dogs.”
The department is studying where it could locate as many as 12 new dog parks. After the sites are identified, the department will seek funding for them.