Aug 31 2015

Dog Usage of Dracena Park and Signage Questioned

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue to consider setting a “neighborhood meeting” in October to discuss Dracena Park’s off-leash area, signage, and permission for off-leash dog usage of the upper grassy area.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Park Commission by neighbors concerned about unclear signage and the desirability of allowing dogs to run on the grassy area next to Dracena Avenue.

Bordered by tall redwood trees, Dracena Park’s canyon area between Dracena Avenue and Artuna Avenue has for decades been designated an off-leash area for licensed dogs under human command.

At the June Park Commission meeting a petition signed by 107 Piedmonters was presented noting inconsistent and confusing signage indicating on and off-leash areas.   Permission for off-leashed dogs to play at designated times on the upper grass area of Dracena Park was requested.

Dogs are sometimes seen catching frisbees or playing with other dogs on the upper grass area of Dracena Park; however, this is technically not an off-leash area.  If an animal control officer catches a dog on the grass, according to testimony, the fine is $300.

Commissioners requested more information on the issue, including a map of Dracena Park, potential issues, and availability of other off-leash dog areas in Piedmont.  One commissioner remarked that where dogs are allowed to run freely in a limited space, the result can be bare dirt.

Dog owners often schedule their trips to the various off-leash areas  to be with friends while exercising themselves and their dogs. Trips to the dog parks represent an important part of many Piedmonters physical and social activity.

Piedmont’s off-leash areas for dogs are limited to the dog park near Linda Beach Playgound, Main Park near the creek, Dracena Park canyon, and Blair Park on Moraga Avenue.

Blair Park on Moraga Avenue long designated as an off-leash area for dogs, receives limited use because of remoteness and lack of a fence to protect dogs from going into the heavily trafficked adjacent roadway.

The September 2 Park Commission meeting will be broadcast, on KCOM Comcast Channel 27 and live streamed through the City website. The meeting is open to the public for comment.

To view the June 2015 meeting when the Park Commission previously discussed the issue, go to the video record of the meeting here and start at the 40 minute point.

3 Responses to “Dog Usage of Dracena Park and Signage Questioned”

  1. To clarify, the upper and lower pathways in Dracena Park have always been designated as off-leash areas, as pre-existing signage clearly indicates. The two prohibitions have always been the upper lawn area and quarry, also clearly indicated by pre-existing signage. As a consequence of construction projects in the existing off-leash areas, I am told dogs were permitted to use the lawn area. Recently, with no public notice, signage was added to the park requiring dog owners entering the lawn area from Artuna and Park Way (but not Dracena or Blair) to leash their dogs. This inconsistency has lead to confusion among dog park users.

    The petition submitted to the Park Commission requests that the upper lawn area allow off-leash dog use and has nothing to do with signage. The “neighborhood” meeting will be a public meeting open to all residents and those interested in discussing off-leash usage of the park should attend. Contact Mark Feldkamp at for details about the meeting.

  2. YES!! the grassy area should be available for dogs to play and chase frisbees and play with other dogs. I would have signed the petition if I had known about it. So, consider me a SIGNEE!! It is a happy social experience for many people and the dog parks are probably the largest meeting places for the greatest number of people in the city.

  3. The Park Commission decided to hold a public meeting about the leash rules at Dracena Park on Saturday October 3 from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the park. The meeting will be informal to gather input on the issues and options going forward. The meeting will be open to all and extensive outreach to the neighborhood, petition signers,and dog walk and park users will be conducted. No decisions will be made at this meeting and additional fact-finding meetings may be held before a public hearing is conducted in november. Contact Mark Feldkamp at 420-3064 or

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