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.

Speak Out for your dog on September 11

Two major items will be heard by the Parks Commission next Wednesday. We need dog lovers in the room that day to speak out for their pups and we need you to send emails to city officials.

  1. Come to the meeting Wednesday, September 11 4:30-6:30-7. It is fine to be late.
    Lakeside Garden Center, across from Fairyland
    666 Bellevue
    Sign up to speak on two items 1) Snow Park and 2) Dog Policy Draft
  2. Take a few minutes to scan the dog policy draft at dog policy DRAFT for website so that you understand why it is import to tell these people that we don’t want to be stuck in blighted and neglected parks in Oakland just because they think dogs are some sort of problem. There are some good ideas in this document but we have highlighted the recurring problem of not letting dog owners use nice park space. It also would require dog owners to pay special fees that no other park users pay on top of having to privately finance dog parks.
  3. Send an email with your support of Snow Dog Park and your comments on not wanting only crummy park space to the following list: planbig@aol.com, hagiular@oaklandnet.com, acamppbell-washington@oaklandnet.com, rflynn@oaklandnet.com, jquan@oaklandnet.com, council@oaklandnet.com

Lakeview Hearing Date Set: 12/4/12

The Oakland City Council will hear our appeal on Tuesday, December 4th at 5:30 pm. It’s very important that we have a large number of our supporters there. Please join us! City Hall is at One Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th & Broadway). There is a parking lot one block away at 14th & Clay, and 12th Street/City Center BART is one block away. If you need a ride to the meeting, email us and we will hook you up.

This will be our last chance to get a small slice of off-leash space in central Oakland. All of the parkland in the Lake Merritt area is completely off-limits to people with dogs, even on leash. All we are asking for is half an acre. Help us end this inequity.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP OUR CAUSE:

  • Come to the meeting on December 4th. If you want to speak, let us know. We’d be happy to help you with speaking points if you’d like.
  • Write to City Council, and tell them to approve this park. You can email council@oaklandnet.com, use our handy form, send a handwritten letter to Council, Oakland City Hall, One Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612, Call your City Council member.
  • Watch our videos, and spread the word to your friends.
  • If you haven’t already, please join our Facebook page. We will keep you posted on next steps.
  • Share our post on Facebook about this meeting, and tell your friends to come.
  • If you’d like to volunteer to help, send us an email.

Important Meetings Coming up!

Email your support for Lakeview Dog ParkThere are two big meetings coming up that will decide on Oakland’s dog-friendliness. 

Wednesday, May 2, 6-10 pm

Lakeview Dog Play Area, near Lake Merritt will come before the Oakland Planning Commission. It’s vital that we have a strong presence at this meeting. Your presence will count even if you don’t want to speak. If you like, you can RSVP on their facebook page, or you can just show up! It’s also OK if you show up late.

Oakland City Hall [map it]
For directions, public transit, and parking options, click here.

In the meantime, please write to the Planning Commission and tell them you support this project! You can use the handy form we’ve set up. It takes less than 2 minutes, and you can use as-is, or customize with your own words.

Tuesday, April 17, 2 pm

Restrictions to off-leash access to the Dunn Trail in Redwood Regional Park are being discussed by the East Bay Regional Park District. Stop the ban of off-leash dogs! Attend their next meeting on April 17th, at 2950 Peralta Oaks Court in Oakland [map it]. In the meantime, you can send voice your opinion by emailing  jsutter@ebparks.org with a CC: to Odogparks@COMCAST.net

Saturday, April 14 at 10-10:30

Happy Tails and Trails has agreed to do another dog and horse  training clinic, weather permitting.  Bring your LEASHED dog and dog treats to meet a horse and learn how they can get along with just a handful of behavior changes. You will learn how to  understand the behaviors of your dog, the horse and the rider, so that your dog is calmer around horses and everyone is safer on the trails. This is a big part of our chance to retain off-leash access so if you think your dog needs even a tiny bit of help, make time to attend.   Please bring some small treats and be sure your dog is securely leashed.  Meet at the trail entrance to Serpentine that abuts the Trudeau Center parking lot [map it].

If you are an equestrian who would like to participate, with or without a horse, please let us know if you would be available on this date or at future trainings.

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

Welcome!

Welcome to ODOG. We’re the advocates for dog parks and trails in Oakland and nearby East Bay. Come celebrate our First Annual Dog Park Days Fundraiser this weekend, August 13 & 14 at all Pet Food Express stores in Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda.  All proceeds from the Bake Sale and dog washing will support ODOG.

Pet Food Express hours and locations
9-7 Saturday  (Bake Sale 9-5)
10-5 Sunday (Bake Sale 10-4)

Alameda in the Nob Hill Shopping Center on Blanding

Berkeley at the corner of University and San Pablo

Montclair at 2220 Mountain Blvd. 94611

North Oakland at Telegraph and Alcatraz

Rockridge at Broadway and 51st