Last night, plans for the development of Grandview Park in the Montemalaga neighborhood and Lower Hesse Park in Rancho Palos Verdes were discussed at the City Council Meeting for Rancho Palos Verdes. The evening was a great step forward in getting a dog park constructed on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Approx. 12 people spoke on the City's preliminary design of the parks at Grandview and Lower Hesse Park ( Note: Click on the link and when the plan is displayed, click on the picture to enlarge it ). Most of the speakers were immediate neighbors of the park concerned with traffic and noise. My husband Bruce and Ruth Shaffer spoke in favor of the dog parks. She emphasized the fact that dog parks are great for drawing people out of their homes and getting together as a community. This comment seemed to resonate with several of the council members. Bruce presented the council with copies of our petitions that included 814 signatures in favor of a dog park on the Peninsula, with 359 of the signatures being from residents of RPV. He also commented on the fact that the proposed dog parks seemed to be too small and not the optimal size as recommended by several sources which we had read on the Internet, which was 3 acres in size ( 2 acres for large dogs and 1 acre for small dogs).
After all of the public comments were over regarding Grandview and Lower Hesse Park, Mayor Larry Clark gave a presentation on how the other cities on the Peninsula are now actively working together to construct dog parks on the hill. He said that at a recent meeting of all of the mayors of the 4 Peninsula cities, that they were unanimous in their support for constructing one or more dog parks on the Peninsula. The RPV City Manager also commented that all of the city managers are also supportive of the idea. Mr. Clark then showed the large stack of dog park petitions Bruce had given him and he submitted them to the city clerk as evidence of the demand for a dog park on the Peninsula. Several of the council members mentioned the large number of emails that they have received over the last 18 months from our supporters.
Each of the other council members then commented, and they all seemed in support of a dog park on the hill, although a couple were firm that certain negative impacts of the dog park ( noise, traffic , etc. ) would need to be mitigated or addressed by staff for a dog park to be constructed at Grandview Park or Lower Hesse Park. They also directed staff to consider doing a survey of other locations within the city that may be appropriate for a dog park location.
One thing that all of the council members emphasized was that these two parks were city parks, meant for active recreational uses for all of the city residents, and were not just local parks meant for the immediate residents, and that although their concerns would be addressed and attempts to mitigate them made, that they all purchased their homes knowing that this was a city park in their immediate neighborhoods. They also stated that although several of the residents commented that they would like to see Grandview Park left in its natural state, that the city currently has over 1,500 acres of nature preserve and dedicated open space, and that this land was purchased years ago by the city for an active city park, and that it should be developed as such.
The city authorized $50,000 to be spent on hiring a designer who would flesh out the proposed design. They also plan to have future public workshops to discuss the proposed designs. The council members emphasized that this is a first step and that authorizing design work did not mean that the council was endorsing or approving the current design.
We are also continuing to work with the City of Rolling Hills Estates on the possiblity of constructing a dog park on the former Palos Verdes landfill site or at another suitable location within their city. At the RHE Parks and Activities meeting last night two potential locations within RHE for a dog park (which did not include a discussion of the former Palos Verdes landfill site ) were unfortunately voted down. The Palos Verdes landfill site was not discussed, however, and this site will hopefully be put on the agenda for the next committee meeting to discuss.
If you would like to support our efforts to get a dog park constructed on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .