Community association looking at dog park project

The ball is rolling for a dog park at Aliso Canyon Community Park.

The Aliso Viejo Community Assn. Board of Directors will start to re-evaluate in the coming months the Master Plan that included the addition of a dog park and parking. The plan is assessed every five years.

The project was delayed because of the economic climate, AVCA President Ross Chun said.

A few years back AVCA had design firms come up with designs and cost schedules for the project. Since then, it has asked the firms to scale the designs down to be more practical.

There are a lot of decisions to be made, Chun said, from the kind of turf — such as natural or bark — to potable water and lighting.

"One thing is certain … we've already gotten a lot of positive feedback. Everyone really wants a dog park," he said. "We want to do as much as we can to move this forward."

AVCA held workshops for the project in the past and plans to hold more this spring, giving residents the opportunity to voice suggestions and tour the area.

Chun said he's been contacted regarding how the dog park will be sectioned, such as big dog and small dog areas. Someone contacted him this week about a "solo dog area" for dogs that aren't well socialized.

"We have to really investigate those suggestions," he said.

Although the project is on the board's agenda, it might be quite a while before the undeveloped park is turned into a pup playground.

The Parks and Landscape Committee will meet to start looking at the plan in the new year. The next step is revising the plan, determining a budget, getting new bids and then applying to the California Coastal Commission for approval because the park lies in its jurisdiction.

About three years ago, the budget for the dog park, parking and trail was $250,000. Chun said because of due to the economic climate, he does not know if the costs will go up or down. The budget will be revisited in the new year.

Anyone interested in updates on the project can attend the next board meeting Jan. 9.

Twitter: @joannaclay

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