Last night I attended a San Marino Community meeting discussing a proposed San Marino City Dog Park in Lacy Park. Derek Barker, a student at San Marino High School felt so passionately about having a place to run his dogs that he decided to undertake this initiative as his Eagle Scout project.
San Marino Recreation Committee met held a public meeting at the Crowell Library to hear feedback from the community on this matter.
The proposed dog park will be located in San Marino's Lacy Park on the West side not too far from the tennis courts. 14,500 sq. ft. area that has been used in the past by San Marino Girl Scouts for their August camping/cooking week and the annual fish derby is under consideration.
The costs of building the San Marino Dog Park will run around $20,000 and include putting appropriate turf, access key card, fencing and sterilizers. The annual upkeep is expected to run several thousand dollars.
San Marino Dog Park will have to be self-policed. Owners will need to pick up their dogs' treasures and ensure that the area is kept clean.
Humane society estimated that San Marino has close to 3,000 dogs based on the size of the community. Currently less than 10% are licensed with the city. To be able to use the dog park, residents will need to ensure that their dogs are licensed which will ensure that they have the necessary vaccinations keeping these doggies happier and will add to the city's revenue stream.
Residents of San Marino that came to the meeting were torn on this issue. Speakers were given 3 minutes to state their opinion on the issue and then the San Marino Recreation Committee took the feedback under consideration in their discussions.
Proponents of San Marino Dog Park:
- Dogs are already allowed in San Marino. Now they will have their own secure area where they can run without a leash and socialize with other dogs.
- Dogs need a couple of hours of exercise a day. This keeps them healthy and not as aggressive or loud. Dogs tend not to bark in dog parks.
- A dog park would provide another opportunity for dog owners to socialize and get to know one another. A benefit to the San Marino's close knit community.
- There are really no areas in San Marino currently that will allow dogs to run freely.
Opponents of San Marino Dog Park:
- Putting a dog park in Lacy Park will take away from Lacy Park's original purpose of providing a "pastoral" tranquil and serene setting.
- Size of the dog park was a concern to some. The recommended size of a dog park is around 1 acre. This area will be half the recommended size.
- San Marino dog park will be too close to existing homes that back up to Lacy Park. San Marino homeowners are concerned about the potential noise and smell.
- Parking is an issue for some. Currently, Lacy Park's parking is very limited. San Marino residents expressed concern that the dog park will increase the number of visitors thus making it more difficult to park in the area.
- Liability - some residents were concerned about the potential city liability in case of accidents, dog bites, etc.
Unfortunately I had to leave early and did not attend the discussion held by the Rec Committee. Derek Barker reported that the vote was positive and the dog park is going to San Marino City Council for consideration.