Picture 5

Photo courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

Following a controversial back-and-forth between supporters and dissenters, the City of Long Beach Parks and Recreation Commission last week unanimously approved citing a fenced-in, 1.5 acre off-leash dog park in the southeast corner of the El Dorado Regional Park.

The current site is different from the original proposal, which was set near the community gardens and El Dorado Nature Center, prompting outcry from patrons of the gardens and center.

The plan was ultimately scrapped in favor of the approved Tree Farm site on the condition that the group behind the dog park efforts, Friends of El Dorado Dog Park, raise $265,000 to fund the park, including adding water facilities and a parking lot.

However, the group has been unable to do so and 5th Councilmember Gerrie Schipske has agreed to provide $65,000 from her district fund, available through city council’s recent “by-dsitrict” infrastructure improvement fund composed of one-time revenue sources.

“This is a great opportunity to establish a dog park on this side of town which will attract public support and additional funding,” said Schipske in a statement. “No general funds or property taxes are being used for this one-time expense.”

According to sources at Parks, Recreation, and Marine, the newly approved site mitigates a lot of contingency factors for supporters of the park, which will be divided into a 1.1-acre park for large dogs and a 0.4 acre area of for smaller pets. Given there is a nearby parking lot and water pipes already exist, along with being removed from gardens and bustling centers, the site is seemingly appropriate for both sides.

Critics, however, still remain. Parking congestion, the eradication of park space from users, and other disruptions are still concerns of those who do not want the dog park to exist at all.

{FG_GEOMAP [33.81106619175104,-118.08359757607423] FG_GEOMAP}