By LOLA COFFEY
Special to Circling the News
Almost 3,500 residents signed a petition that they would like an off-leash dog park here in Pacific Palisades. Before the 2017 City Council election, incumbent Mike Bonin supported a park, promising everyone who voted for him that he could make it happen. At a February 2018 dog park planning meeting, 120 people attended and all voted approval.
So, it is about time that one is created in our community.
At the L.A. Rec and Park Commissioners meeting on March 18, it was announced that $765,000 has been earmarked for a dog park, which includes concrete paving, ramps and steps with hand railings, all-weather turf, shade canopies and benches, decomposed granite paving, drinking fountains, dog agility equipment and hydrations stations, plant material (in ground and in pots) and irrigation equipment.
The funding is coming from Quimby fees—YES! It’s about time that Pacific Palisades, which has collected Quimby fees faithfully on new construction, will get something back in this area. (Any fees collected pursuant to LAMC Sections 17.12 and 12.33 may be used to either acquire new public park land that would serve the future residents of the development that paid those in lieu fees, or to fund capital improvements at existing recreational and park facilities that would serve the future residents.)
Alas, this dog park will be called the Whitnall Dog Park? Wait, did residents vote on it? WHAT? Rec and Parks didn’t approve a park here, but instead approved it in North Hollywood. How did that happen? How come they got a dog park?
But fear not, Lola has learned there still might be a way to get a dog park here: residents just need to get funding in place – by writing checks or using their credit cards.
Supposedly the City will provide land for this dog park near the playground in Temescal Canyon Park.
Residents were told by the Bonin’s Council office they would need to raise about $500,000 to get it started and then maybe some City money could be added to make up the difference.
But what about Measure A money? Wasn’t that supposed to go towards parks? Maybe that could be used for a dog park?
Measure A has been depositing about $267,000 per year for the Palisades/Brentwood area since 2017 and will continue for another 16 years, but so far that money has not been used for anything.
The Council office has lent support to a helpful suggestion for raising money—a donor wall. Anyone who gives $2,500 could have his/her name on the wall. Or you could give $5,000 and have a name engraved in a larger font. If somebody wanted to give $500,000, his/her name could be as large as the Hollywood sign.
Palisades residents have had to raise money to deal with the homeless, money to get trash off the streets and trim trees; there was even an opportunity to raise money to fund bocce courts at the Recreation Center (thank you, Ronald Reagan American Legion Post 283).
Now residents will have the splendid opportunity to raise money for a dog park.
Did the people in Westwood have to raise money for a handicapped accessible playground, which they turned down at the March 4 Rec and Park Commissioners meeting? No. Did the people in North Hollywood have to raise money for a dog park? No.
Well, let’s try to be positive.
If you don’t feel like writing a $2,500 check, because you already pay property taxes and high DWP bills and had to hire a tutor to help your kids with school because public schools were closed and pay for a psychologist to deal with the mental issues of your family being cooped up for year, don’t worry.
Just let your dog run around at the Rec Center, which has once again become the ad hoc dog park. And it doesn’t cost anybody a penny.