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
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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

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.

Some Spooky Fun (and prizes!)

Pre-Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser
DOG COSTUME PHOTO CONTEST!!

TO ENTER: post a picture on the facebook wall of Lakeview Dog Play Area of your dog in costume

PRIZES: $10 gift certificate to PAWS AND CLAWS pet store (sponsor of our fundraiser on 10/28); and your pic gets to be on Lakeview Dog’s marquee (under the logo).

EXTRA POINTS: caption your pic with your dog’s name. You can also mention why this off-leash area would be important to you.

DEADLINE: Wed., Oct 19th at midnight pacific.

JUDGES: Michelle Dong, Terry Boom, and Paul Vidican.

 

BACKGROUND ON THE LAKEVIEW DOG PLAY AREA PROJECT

Were you aware that if one of your dog’s paws touches grass in most of Oakland’s parks, you could get a ticket?

For more than ten years, a committed group of canine loving volunteers has been going through Oakland’s byzantine system to build an off-leash area for neighbors near Lake Merritt, in a largely UNUSED spot by I-580. It’s been approved several times by Oakland city departments, and was included in the Adams Point Urban Design Plan and the Lake Merritt Master Plan. It would be used daily by nearby residents, many of whom are elderly and without access to any place to socialize with their companion animals and other like-minded people. The plan would also add year-round flowers and several trees to what is now a patchy yellowish lawn.

Recently, a small but very vocal group has stepped up to oppose this much-needed amenity. They are claiming it will be an eyesore, an unattractive place, unsafe for children  … they are using every scare tactic to whip up fear and make this fall through, We need your help to make this park a reality!

EASY WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
Join the Facebook page for this project. There’s strength in numbers, and more supporters sends a message to City Hall.

Visit the website for this project, get informed, and spread the word to your friends and neighbors.