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.
3 thoughts on “Two new dog parks are coming to Los Altos”
The article does not mention that the proposal involves taking down 10 mature trees. I think that the southeast corner of the park would be more appropriate. No trees to take down and it’s flat and out of the way. Dog owners can still walk their dogs in the eastern portion of the park. It just wouldn’t be an off-leash play area.
Council members expressed a desire for a shady area, thus the Mackenzie Park selection. However, taking down 10 mature trees will remove most if not all the desired shade. Plus at this point in trying to ameliorate climate change, removing mature (and probably heritage) trees is an appallingly bad idea. Shame on the city council.
Teach your dog to heel and we wouldn’t need dog parks. That being said the idea of taking down trees – AT ALL – is irresponsible and should not be part of the equation. Work around existing structures (to wit: trees) and all will be well with the world. Otherwise, you’re just contributing to the gradual warming scenario we’re all facing.
Thanks for listening and please, keep your chainsaws in the garage, where they belong.