Letter: Doggone Dog Park

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on November 27, 2012

I searched a [UC Davis] website for California suggested guidelines for Dog Parks.

I then compared the documents from the city of Mission Viejo, Planned Development Permit PDP2011-238, and found what would be included in this proposed dog park. I also compared the information, details and sketch on the MV Dog Park website:

And I conclude that the City has laid out some of the detail but very little. There is a beautiful sketch with beautiful colors on the MVDog park website, but no timeline of completion and no accountable list of exactly what is included.

Since the permit document was sent out (2011), and the current Dog Park Financial details from the City Planner, I question why the City Council would want to approve spending that kind of money to construct “a gravel parking lot, turf, irrigation, sidewalks and some fencing”. (What kind of fencing? Is it to city code?) “We have told council that landscape will come through volunteer efforts.”

This is no comparison to the suggested Dog Park guidelines, or the planned development permit or the dog park sketch. I think we should all be concerned.

With deciding whether to spend approximately $860,000 or more, this dog park should be the “shrine” of Dog parks. Not the rag/tag plan for a low budget, volunteer project.

I am not against a dog park. However, I am against a dog park that is this expensive to construct, with few posted details and sounds like we’ll need to rely on volunteers to maintain it. This proposed Dog Park will definitely impact our community with unintended costs. The proposed walking trails around the Dog Park will intersect with our Quail Run perimeter property, common areas, landscape, irrigation and our beautiful park.

I disagree that this project will enhance our Quail Run curb appeal. I am also very concerned about the proposed sight of the dog park thinking, I am sure that there will be people who visit the park that will use/ enjoy the park and the surroundings as intended, I also think that there are many others that will take their dogs behind my neighborhood on the path that runs on the ridge along O’Neil Park. There is easy access along this ridge from the dog park to our neighborhood and our park within Quail Run. My fear is that some who come to the park will decide they would like to investigate further into the area by walking along the trail and enter our neighborhood and park, which we pay for in our monthly HOA.

Once dog park visitors and others (perhaps less desirable) have investigated the area around our neighborhood park, it could lead to them frequenting the area and coming into the park that is dedicated to the homeowners and their families of Quail Run.

Council Members, please vote no on this park location and listen to the people who live next to and across from this proposed dog park –  not to those that want to drive here to walk their dog.

Erin Walker
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Brown November 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

Good luck on getting the council to listen to anyone. I fear they have their minds made up…..

Bonnie Benton November 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

So….is that good enough for you? That they have their minds made up?

Pat Herr November 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

A dog park is not a place to walk your dog. It’s a place where dogs get to run and play free of leashes. They are watched over by their owners. They don’t need more than some fenced in space. If the dogs don’t behave, they are not welcomed back. I have yet to see that happen. Benches for their owners and a cover for some shade would be nice but not necessary. Once codes are met with and distance from neighborhoods are respected, dogs and their owners would have a place to socialize without spending a fortune. It’s a dog park not a preschool or spa.

Byron Barbour November 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

How can you justify spending $860,000 on a dog park when the city has an operating loss of $5.3 million for the year. All the dogs want is to smell one anothers South end and they’re happy. Irvine’s dog park is a chain link fence, a couple of benches and a small parking area. The grass is going to die anyway.

Margo Kutner November 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I’ve seen many other local cities’ dog parks and they are simple and more than adequate for dogs to safely interact, run around, and play. There is no practical reason why the one for Mission Viejo has to cost the amount of money being proposed. If the cost is necessary for the site chosen, then choose another site with a reasonable budget in mind. Seems like “common sense” isn’t any more.

Larry Gilbert November 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

The “phase one” of the proposed park is $860,000. We have yet to be told the projected cost of the entire project. This is the new method of making sure future projects come in under budget. Simply build them in phases to reduce the number of costly Change Orders. By the same scheme we don’t have to let the voters know what our end game is in terms of completed projects cost, for if the voters knew they may not support it, such as the expansion of the Murray Center a few years ago. Clever. But MV watchdogs have not fallen off the back of turnip trucks. We shall continue monitoring the games they play at City Hall.

Joe Holtzman November 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm

We have a number of parks where soccer is being played by various groups, and from youngsters to ” the older set”. The vast majority of our soccer fields have NO bathrooms. I am told that the players find it necessary to ” relieve” themselves in bushes.

Don’t you think we should take care of these needs before a dog “urinal ” is built.

Adriana Brady December 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

Sounds like we should go back to designating and fencing an area of one of our many existing parks to accommodate the dogs. Makes sense in this economy…..

Byron Barbour December 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Another Mission Viejo Project for the select few instead of the good of the entire town. I walk all over this town at least three times a week. No matter where you go these so called responsible dog owners let their friend poop in the middle of the sidewalk. They do it around the Lake, community center and the Oso Creek Trail. You can rest assured if they don’t pick it up on the streets they won’t pick it up at the dog park. I’d hate to live down wind of this project, it stinks already. With design fees so far and the cost of the park will have the first million dollar dog park in the world, insane !

Hans Duncan December 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Too many dogs, so little money. Nevertheless, if you build it, they will come. If MV builds it, it needs to look great, not slap-dash. I say, raise taxes on dog owners. See how that flies.

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