Letter: Dog Park Is Ticking Time Bomb

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on January 6, 2013

Now since the passing [dog park] votes, the city has been slapped with repaying over $4 million dollars in redevelopment funds to the State. Are we still going to move forward with this unnecessary expense? I urge the Council to take another look, use sound judgement, and please reconsider.

Where is all the bacteria-filled waste going to go that will run-off from this park? Right into the creek, where a very fragile Eco-system exists. Today there are Mule Deer and other animals that live in that creek bed and are regularly spotted on that hill. The creek has such a low water flow it can’t support all the added bacteria. Read about Dog Park Environmental Issues; what this same scenario has done to other streams and creeks. The bacteria runoff from the dog parks laid waste to them.

Here’s a recent Irvine dog park injury, infection and amputation reported in Sunday’s OC Register. What’s that going to cost the city? I honor and respect this man for his courage and positive attitude but blame the dog park for dogs being allowed to run lose and attack each other. This dog park is a ticking time bomb in cost overruns, financial liability, and ecologic damage. Defuse this bomb before it blows!

Mike Lantz


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Holtzman January 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

Those who feel “entitled” could care less about any “issues.”

Tawny Lee January 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

While I agree with the financial and perhaps the ecological concerns you raise, your inclusion of the link to the article regarding the dog bite injury is pure and unnecessary dramatics. Actually, if you know anything about dogs, they are actually more likely to be aggressive on-leash, and those situations can happen in many other environments. I personally know of an attack by a pair of dogs on a leashed dog walking through a home neighborhood (the dogs had escaped from their house/yard) that resulted in the owner of the leashed dog being badly bitten. The dog park is not at fault for this situation. And I’m sure there is some legal way to limit city liability for dog park users; there are waiver signs everywhere you go nowadays!

Christopher Rosolanko January 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

I read the article. Let me be clear though, I am more in favor of fencing off areas of current parks for dogs to play in. However the article points out that in 25 years the CDC has identified 160 cases of this disease. With almost 7 Billion people on the planet, I would have to say this sounds pretty Rare.

Bill Ernisse January 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Mission Viejo NEEDs a dog park; but, I wonder if we need one @ this location & @ the proposed estimate of almost $1M? The Planning Commission was chartered to review the design concept & encouraged to not ask about cost nor location as the city & Council had already decided on the location & land exchange with OC County @ a 1:3 ratio in favor of County based on acreage. While the site is a known Slide Zone, I am hopeful as a tax payer, costs are worth the risks to expenses, environment & quality of life. The design of small dog, large dog & socially challenged dog runs is an excellent plan regardless of final location. If not too late, perhaps another location search would be prudent, even though the need for a Dog Park has been needed 25 years prior to our existing Council Members?

Hans Duncan January 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Stop pandering to the dog enthusiasts! They can walk their dogs. If you want dogs to run wild, run your dog yourself, on a leash. Or move to a ranch, or Mexico. Jeez. They are house pets. There, i said it. I personally think it’s a suburban frivolity to have dog parks. I would never take an expensive pet there. If you build it, charge for it, like a club. Pay to play, people.

Bo Klein January 26, 2013 at 10:20 am

Re Mr. Lantz:

The City is perhaps undergoing investigation and reprimand by the state and may be further involved with cash repayment to state and federal agencies, and fines and sanction, over questionable re-development agreement issues, but isn’t all that doom derived from auto dealership deals rather than a dog park? Its doubtful that future prosecution of the issues against the city will have anything to do with a dog park. It will be from auto dealership deals gone bad.

Runoff of biologically inherent ingredients such as animal urine and fecal matter don’t travel hundreds of yards directly into a stream bed of water that you, or anyone, is drinking out of their tap faucet is it? No. Your water, like all water potable is acquired from deep aquifiers and that source water is natural animal deposits and rainfall. Interesting that your point about contaminating that specific creek was used as a defense himself by the city manager, at that time he was the city Public Works Director.

In city council session, the P.W.D. claimed several acres were being graded, leveled flat like a storage field for service vehichles and structures at a directive of his without apparent budget and City Manager and Council approval. His defense to do such an act without approval was because he was somewhat concerned that the land plot contained tons of slabs of concrete and asphalt deposited hundreds of yards away from the creek decades prior. His act had nothing to do with the fact the parks above and on the same ridgeline as the proposed dog park, has been used by dog walkers for decades. No one for decades has ever produced evidence the creek has been infected by household pet contamination.

The serious danger of the broken asphalt and concrete slabs the, now city manager, spoke of as a danger to the creek Mr. Lanz is trying to protect, are still there at the lower Curtis Park, leaching I suppose all sorts of bad stuff(?). If you study the same creek downstream, a branch runs through the center of Mission Viejo (study a map) and walk it, you will see that asphalt and concrete blocks were used for “shoring” not, “dumped” as pollutants as the City Manager claimed. His freshly graded land was suggested as a dog park at Lower Curtis park many years ago. Walk the creek, Mr. Lanze, check behind Trader Joe’s, the golf course, etc…. witness yourself. Those “pollutants” are still there.

If the dog park gets built, it will never be of any concern environmentally. And if, and likely, some pets snap and play with each other at a dog park you will never attend hopefully, what’s the issue to you? There are thousands of dog parks, their day to day activities dont affect you and you dont do anything about.

The grading at the lower Curtis Park cost taxpayers $425,000.00 a decade ago, so, add that cost to the grading at the new dog park location because the lower Curtis Park still has a graded lot and still polluting the same as for decades except more now because the lot has stored items and no collection and filtration system to protect the creek.

I have never heard of a City that was so paranoid about a dog park anywhere in the world.

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