Leashes Not Required in New Park for Dogs

In this town, man's best friend will soon get to mingle more often with other canines.

The Calabasas City Council unleashed its approval Wednesday night for a play area where dogs can run untethered.

"We've been studiously looking for a place in our city to have a dog park," said Greg Johnson, Calabasas community services director. "Our [existing] park areas didn't seem to lend themselves."

The city plans to build a new, nearly one-acre dog park on a vacant plot of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District land--across from A.E. Wright Middle School--on Las Virgenes Road.

The park should open by the end of the year, Johnson said.

In the agreement between the water district and Calabasas, the city will spend $20,000 to develop and build the park and will be responsible for its maintenance and operation, as well as legal liabilities.

The water district will donate the land and sell the city reclaimed water for sprinklers. The site already has a parking lot.

A chain-link fence will surround the park, and an enclosed area with two sets of gates will let dog owners safely leash or unleash their pets when coming or going. Plans also include a separate, small enclosed play area for children.

Councilman Bob Hill suggested city staff members take a look at how to prevent rattlesnakes from entering the park.

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