Nov 2 2015

Dogs Off Leash in Dracena Park: Park Commission Wed, Nov 4

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

Once more the Commission will discuss and review the issue of the Dracena Park off-leash dog area.  To date there have been differing opinions on how the upper grassy area and redwood dell of Dracena Park should be used.  The public is welcome to provide input to the discussion. The meeting will be broadcast on Cable Channel 27 and via the City of Piedmont website.

At a later time, the Council will consider any changes recommended by the Park Commission.


One Response to “Dogs Off Leash in Dracena Park: Park Commission Wed, Nov 4”

  1. Turnout for the meeting was SRO due in part to dog owners concerned about a reduction of the dog run. These concerns were raised by the introduction of a dog run map by Mark Becker claiming the approved off leash area was only the lower pathway and that all other trails were either on leash or prohibited to dogs mainly to provide a “buffer zone” to the neighborhood. At this meeting, Staff produced minutes of a Park Commission meeting from July 7, 1993 at which the Commission approved an off-leash plan for the park that expressly includes the upper and lower pathways and the adoption of new signage. Assuming current signage reflects that plan, upper, lower and the oval pathways around the lawn are off leash dog runs. The only limitations included in the 1993 plan are that dogs are walked on the upper pathway and dogs are not allowed off leash on the lawn – there is no buffer “zone”, just limits on where dogs can run and walk. Other than their dogs running onto the lawn, dog park users can be assured they are in compliance with the dog park rules.

    It’s unfortunate that these minutes were not provided by staff to the Park Commission months ago when this issue was brought before it. As a result, the discussion has been sidetracked into this “buffer zone” question. The minutes of the 1993 meeting claim the current plan was the result of a consensus of dog owners and the neighborhood. Now 25 years later and with the doubling of off leash permits, the Park Commission will hopefully investigate the question raised by the petition about allowing dogs on the lawn for limited hours. One good outcome of the incorrect map is that it brought out testimony of dog owners about how they need the park as much as their dogs do. Many spoke about how the dog run provides great socialization for them through meeting other dog owners. With the growth of dog ownership it is time for the Commission to revisit the plan so that groups of dog owners can gather while dogs run off leash. This can be done on the upper lawn or at the Park Way entrance to the park.

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