Two new fenced-in dog parks are coming to Los Altos in the near future, following a motion passed by the city council on Tuesday evening. The two parks will be located on Hillview Ave., adjacent to Center Soccer Field, and McKenzie Park West. The project will cost a total of $100,000 and will be complete in roughly three to four months.
Not all residents will be happy with the project. Last April, the city implemented a pilot program that allowed dogs to be off-leash in the unfenced area of the Hillview baseball field, which solicited a number of complaints from residents.
“Some of the concerns that we heard had to do with upkeep and cleaning up the fields,” said Councilmember Neysa Fligor.
To avoid eliciting similar concerns, the council used the following criteria to determine the locations of the two new dog parks: size, parking, buffer from residential homes, access to water, not being on a shared-use field and amount of shade. Rosita Park and Heritage Oak Park were considered as alternate sites.
Although council members unanimously agreed upon the two locations, there was disagreement over whether or not the two parks should open at once. Filgor — the only one to vote against the motion — argued that the McKenzie Dog Park should be established after the Hillview Dog Park.
“My preference is to do at least one year of Hillview [Dog Park]. Then we can assess, look back, learn, and then move forward with McKenzie,” Fligor said. “That’s why I will not be supporting the motion, because I do not support doing them at the same time.”
Vice Mayor Sally Meadows, on the other hand, thought that staggering the opening of the two parks would put too much pressure on one park.
“I think it’s an unfair assessment to put all of the burden on one site. We saw this in the pilot where all of the dogs were in one place,” Meadows said.
The council ultimately voted to establish the parks at the same time.