Dog park goes to county officials

LA CRESCENTA — Local dog owners could soon have an off-leash area for their furry friends if the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as expected Tuesday, approve a dog park here after years of community rallying.

Supervisors are expected to approve $300,000 for a proposed 1.5 acre dog park in at the existing 32-acre Crescenta Valley Park.

The approval would be a victory for Glendale and Crescenta Valley residents who have long lobbied Supervisor Mike Antonovich for a local dog park, citing that most other large communities have similar facilities.

Community volunteers submitted more than 2,000 signatures in support of establishing the park.

"This was initiated after we received a great deal of community input and this is sort of the fruition of that," said Tony Bell, a spokesman for Antonovich.

A committee of county officials and community members met on numerous occasions to study potential sites and analyze the feasibility of a county-operated facility, officials said.

It would be the first county-operated dog park, and as a pilot project could result in the addition of similar facilities throughout the county, officials said.

"If it's successful then they will implement a policy that can be adopted by the board so other dog parks can be built across the county," said Sussy Nemer, Antonovich's deputy for parks and the La Crescenta area.

The proposed dog park at the northwest portion of the park would feature separate areas for small and large dogs as well as a dog-hose-off.

Laws require that dogs be leashed at all other public open spaces. Dog park proponents say the dedicated areas provide a space for important exercise and social opportunities for their pets.

"A well exercised dog is usually a better neighbor," said Crescenta Valley Town Council President Cheryl Davis, who is also a member of Volunteers for Dogs Off-leash Gathering and Socializing, also known as CV DOGS, a group that formed about three years ago.

Davis, whose 2007 campaign platform focused on the dog park issue, said the park plans show that grassroots efforts can be effective.

"I think everyone is really excited because by the time this is done it will be four years since we started this effort," she said. "This started out as a group of dog owners wanting a dog park."

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