Woof! Woof! West Hollywood Park Will Have a Place for Dogs to Play

West Hollywood Park will have a place for dogs to play. At a meeting that included comments from various local residents accompanied by their dogs, the City Council last night decided to include two play spaces in the park development plan.

west Hollywood park, off leash dogsOne space would occupy the area to the east of the basketball courts, which sit on the northern end of the park. The other space would be on the eastern side of the basketball courts, facing San Vicente Boulevard. The estimated cost is $1 million. One space could be used for small dogs and the other for large dogs. In both spaces the dogs could play off-leash.

The Council’s decision brings to a close a discussion that began in July when Mayor John D’Amico complained that the then-$80 million park redevelopment plan (it’s now $90 million plus) included three play spaces for children and none for dogs. D’Amico described what he called an “institutional fetishization of kids” by the city, noting that the city’s dog population greatly exceeded its population of children.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009-2011 American Community Survey estimates that there are 2,465 children in West Hollywood, meaning they constitute seven percent of the city’s 34,361 residents. The Census doesn’t count dogs. The uproar over the failure of the original park plan to include a dog park reflects the gay orientation of the city. Forty percent of the city’s population consists of gay men, who are more likely to be childless than are heterosexual residents. Nearly half of the city’s households are occupied by people living alone or with roommates.

Some speakers last night argued that dogs should receive the same consideration as children.

“For many of us, dogs are our children,” said Heidi Shink, a city planning commissioner who is running for City Council. “I think they deserve the same exact consideration that our children would get.”

There is no count of the number of dogs in West Hollywood because many aren’t registered as required by local ordinances. However Chris Rolczynski noted that “Dudes with Dogs,” a largely gay group of dog owners that he founded in February, already has 2,750 members, most of them in the West Hollywood area.

The Council’s decision incorporates elements of two of five options presented by city staff members. At last night’s meeting, in explaining the $750,000 option, the park designers noted that $505,000 would go toward actual construction of the dog park. Another $110,000 would be spent to connect the dog park and with the alley to its north. And, because the dog park wasn’t included in the initial park plan, another $135,000 was budgeted for design and management of the project.

The proposal endorsed by the Council will mean the loss of some or all of the 11 parking spaces on the alley to the north of the park. But city staff members said they will investigate the possibility of retaining some parking in the area.

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Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

So sorry Mike, you have far missed the issue. Congratulations however, may you be the first to enjoy “peed upon vegetables from the greenway gardens”.

mike dunn
mike dunn
8 years ago

Lynn
I got the point, you believe we should be limited in the number of dogs we own and perhaps the city should regulate the number of dogs per neighborhood.

You said:”There has also been little consciousness about the overwhelming number of dogs, clearly unregistered” ” it might be time to consider a comprehensive look at the dog quotient and how to manage it.”

Pretty anti dog or pet owner.

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

LOL, I see you really missed the point Mike, or many points. No need to banish the beasts as they are tidy housekeepers and rather unobtrusive. I see you enjoy juvenile entitled pet guardians that have no responsibility or give a fig for the average resident.

mike dunn
mike dunn
8 years ago

Lynn
Perhaps we should eradicate all the wild life; squirrels possums, birds, etc. After all they never clean up after themselves.

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

Dogs IN Pavillion’s?

Manny
Manny
8 years ago

@Lynn….I didn’t realize you were so uncomfortable with dog…..Nonetheless, you left out the Pavilion’s unofficial indoor dog park.

Maybe now that we’re getting a good usable dog amenity in Weho Park, we’ll see less dogs sniffing around inside the Pavilions.

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

We easily could have become a city of parks with a premium on green space. After all it is serious amenity. Even the many vacant lots could and could have become “pop-up dog parks” with a little imagination and considerations for inherent liabilities. There has also been little consciousness about the overwhelming number of dogs, clearly unregistered. They degrade the landscape, ruin the grass and shrubbery with no responsibility. Everything seems fair game as a public dog bathroom. Even some of our best high profile buildings have become depositories for shedding fur, fleas and the like that dog guardians conveniently… Read more »

mike dunn
mike dunn
8 years ago

Concerning Santa Monica and La Brea. I’m still waiting to see the afforable housing promised by the developer of the Gateway Project.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
8 years ago

Regarding Durans laughable comment about what little green space we have, isn’t he in the perfect job to make sure they ADD green space when they plan these mega concrete over-developments??? They certainly didn’t at SMB and LaBrea and the surrounding neighborhood where they permitted them to develop every square inch of the property right up to the sidewalk without any significant green space buffer.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
8 years ago

Before all of this came down, i understood there were FIVE playground areas planned for WEHO Park. Is this true? If so, who thought that was a good idea? The park isn’t even that big.

Riley
Riley
8 years ago

Arf, arf!

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

Graft aka Campaign Contributions?

Perhaps if their were more adults communicating with adults rather than with fetishized pooches things might be far clearer and direct. Dogs don’t know how to ask the proper questions evaluate situations nor can they give one viable advice, They are at the mercy of their owners now called “guardians” who seem to have a handy case of myopia.

*From a dog owner that has enough sense to know that my German Shorthaired Pointers would be miserable living in the city for my benefit.

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