Blog Archives

It’s Official: Dog Law Passes!

shutterstock_138940370Last night, Oakland City Council unanimously approved a change to city law regarding dogs in our parks. The new law, effective immediately, allows for people to bring their dogs into a number of parks. Those awful “No Dogs in Parks” signs are going to start coming down soon! Our heartfelt thanks go out to Mayor Jean Quan, and Park & Rec Director Audree Jones-Taylor for their tireless efforts to get this change codified into law.

SAVE THE DATE: We will be hosting a celebration with the Mayor on Saturday, April 19th, from 2 pm – 4 pm, at Estuary Park.

At last night’s meeting, Council President Pat Kernighan cautioned that should any parks become problematic with people letting dogs off-leash in an on-leash area (particularly Lakeside Park), that City Council could revisit this new ordinance. So, please: respect the rules, clean up after your dog, spread the word, and bring extra bags for people who may have forgotten.

Here is the list of Oakland city parks that are now available to people with dogs:

OFF-LEASH

  • Estuary Park – near Jack London Square.
  • South Prescott Park – fenced in park in West Oakland
  • Park Blvd. Plaza – small area near the Parkway Theater
  • King Estates Park – enormous park in East Oakland

ON-LEASH ACCESS ONLY

  • Joaquin Miller Park
  • Leona Heights Park
  • Dimond Park
  • Eastshore Park
  • Knowland Park
  • Lakeside Park
  • Montclair Railroad Trail
  • Mosswood Park
  • Oak Glen Park
  • Grove-Shafter Park
  • Hardy Park
  • Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt
  • Snow Park
  • Jefferson Square Park
  • Athol Park
  • Pine Knoll Park
  • Mandana Plaza

City Council to Consider Dogs in Parks – TUESDAY 3/18

Last month, Oakland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) unanimously approved a resolution amending the city code regarding dogs in parks. On Tuesday at 6 pm, City Council will consider making that resolution a permanent change to city law. There will almost certainly be people at this meeting who are against this proposal. So, we need dog lovers to be there! The meeting is in Council Chambers at City Hall. Parking is available a block away at Clay and 14th, and BART is one block away.

In the proposed change, certain parks will now allow dogs either on- or off-leash, effective immediately (our five fenced dog parks remain unchanged). What that means is that, in those parks those awful “no dogs” signs will start coming down! We’ve been working with Parks and Recreation for a long time, and while it’s not every park we wanted, it’s a great step in the right direction toward making Oakland dog-friendly. Thanks also go out to Mayor Jean Quan, and Park & Rec Director Audree Jones-Taylor.

Here is the list of Oakland city parks that will be available to people with dogs:

OFF-LEASH

  • Estuary Park – near Jack London Square.
  • South Prescott Park – fenced in park in West Oakland
  • Park Blvd. Plaza
  • King Estates Park – enormous park in East Oakland
  • Oak Glen Park

ON-LEASH ACCESS ONLY

  • Joaquin Miller Park
  • Leona Heights Park
  • Dimond Park
  • Eastshore Park
  • Knowland Park
  • Lakeside Park
  • Montclair Railroad Trail
  • Mosswood Park
  • Grove-Shafter Park
  • Hardy Park
  • Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt
  • Snow Park
  • Jefferson Square Park
  • Athol Park
  • Pine Knoll Park
  • Mandana Plaza

Lake Merritt Dog Park Update

By Paul Vidican, ODOG Vice President

Last week, I angrily and publicly chastised Oakland Mayor Jean Quan for a lack of leadership on the Lake Merritt dog park issue. I was justifiably angry because after 13 years, thousands of hours of volunteer hours, and fundraising to create an area for dog owners who live in the densest part of Oakland—the Lake Merritt area—not one but two virtually-assured areas were abruptly made unavailable by the City. On Monday Mayor Quan,  after reading my attack on her,  graciously called me to personally discuss the issues and background information on what’s happening with finding space for people with dogs in Oakland, and what happened with the loss of Lakeview and Snow Park locations. From our conversation and her assurances, I have respect for her leadership on this issue of significant importance to such a large, diverse group of Oaklanders, and look forward to working with her. I now wish that I had spoken with her first before I wrote the letter. For that I want to apologize.

 

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PRAC Votes Yes on Snow Dog Park!

At the Sept 11, 2013 Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) meeting, the Commission voted 6-1 to recommend the approval of the Minor Conditional Use Permit! It’s just the first step though in getting this park built.

Background

snow park meeting

PRAC Meeting on Sept 11, 2013 on the Snow Park dog park

On Sept. 11th PRAC heard a motion to recommend approval of the Minor Conditional Use Permit (MCUP) to the Planning Department. Parks and Recreation staff has recommended that the proposal be approved. At the meeting, 17 speakers spoke on both sides of the issue; the majority were in favor. A handful of residents of the Regillius luxury apartments spoke against the proposal, mainly on the theory that they will be affected by noise and that a nearby dog park would negatively affect their property values.

Mayor Quan briefly attended the meeting to speak in favor of the dog park, saying that the city has “been unfair” to people with dogs, and that Snow Park was a great compromise in creating a safe and legal space for people to go with their dogs. Staff from the office of Council member Lynette Gibson McIlhenney also spoke in favor of the dog park, mentioning that the Council member was strongly in favor of the proposal, and that dog parks create community space, and are effective in deterring crime.

Commissioners asked questions about costs, and the city’s architect estimated that it would cost somewhere near $200,000 to build (in comparison, the children’s play area being built at Snow Park is estimated to cost $300,000). Most of that money would be privately raised by ODOG. Commissioners were also concerned about maintenance, and voted to include an amendment to the MCUP proposal to include a recommendation that the city enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ODOG about maintenance (ODOG has long-standing MOUs with the city for the city’s other dog parks, such as in Joaquin Miller Park.) The motion to recommend the passage of the MCUP was passed by PRAC 6-1. Commission Chair Barry Miller was the lone dissenting vote, saying he’d prefer the park to remain as-is: a largely unused lawn, and he’d rather see a dog park created similarly to the new Latham Square project, where a street was reclaimed for park use.

Next Steps

Staff from the Planning Department said that the next step was that the proposal for the MCUP would now go to the Planning Department, who would write a report. There would then be a 17 day public comment period, after which Planning would administratively make a decision. Once the decision is made, there is a ten day appeal period. If appealed, it would then go to the Planning Commission, who would be the final word. It would not go to City Council, as did the Astro Park controversy.

Snow Park Dog Play Area on Agenda for Sept. 11

Aerial Shot of Snow ParkThe proposed dog park at Snow Park (19th & Harrison) is finally on the agenda for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) for Wednesday, September 11, 4:30 pm. According to the PRAC Staff Report, staff is recommending that the Committee accept the approval of the Minor Conditional Use Permit for this project.

The Snow Park site is the spot that Mayor Quan, along with the Parks and Recreation Department, identified as an alternative to the Lakeview Park location (Lakeshore and MacArthur), that City Council deadlocked on last December.

Snow Park is a lovely spot, and an ideal location for a neighborhood dog park, and would serve the Lake Merritt area well. The addition of the dog park would be part of a complete overhaul of the park: adding park space, improving existing amenities, removing a road, and making it more accessible to the parkland across the street at the lake. As with any project in Oakland, there are a few people against it, and this dog park project, along with the overall improvements to Snow Park is no different.

We know we’ve asked you to come to many meetings, and we’re going to ask one more time. Please take time to come to this meeting. We’re way down on the agenda, so if you can’t make it for the start of the meeting, that’s OK. Just come! The project’s opponents will definitely be there. Remember to fill out a speaker’s card when you arrive, even if you don’t want to speak. You can always cede your time to someone else.

As always, we thank you for your continued support! Hopefully we’ll be socializing in this flagship dog park very soon!

WHEN: Wed., Sept 11. Meeting starts at 4:30, but we’re way down on the agenda

WHERE: Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave

New Dog Park Possibility for Lakeview

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 8.30.05 AM

The city is proposing a portion of Snow Park at 19th and Harrison as a possible location for a new dog park (instead of Lakeview/Astro). The dog area would be about half an acre, have an architectural fence and all the usual features. There will be a special meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) to get public input on the site and show some very general plans about how the dog park could be included as part of a total revitalization and expansion plan for park. The plan looks good to the ODOG members who have seen it.
There will be a public hearing on the site:
Mon., Jan. 28th, 4:30-6:30 pm
Lakeside Garden Center ($2.00 parking fee)
666 Bellevue

Email the city your support for the Lakeview Dog Play Area!

Send an email to the city nowThe Lakeview Dog Play Area needs your support. Send an email in the next 24 hours to convince the city that dog owners deserve space in this neighborhood. We’ve made it extremely simple to send a note of support with our form letterYou can use it as-is, or use our talking point to write your own letter.

Talking Points:

  • Dog play area provides social space for people with dogs.
  • Dog play area approved in Lake Merritt Master Plan and by the Parks Commission (2006 and 2010).
  • Proposed plan gives us a legal space to go with our dogs.
  • This busy neighborhood needs this amenity so we don’t have to drive to Alameda and Berkeley every day.
  • The multi-use park has room for dogs, kids, soccer and more.

Map of the proposed dog play area. Click to enlarge