Fences, wood chips and dirt. At this central intersection of Lake Merritt?
Welcome ODOG members! Many of the members of Save Astro Park are also past, present and future dog owners; indeed 90 of the individuals who wrote letters to Planning to oppose this site for a dog park said so themselves in writing, and the Planning Commissioners themselves spoke of their dog ownership in rejecting the plan. Being supportive of more spaces for dogs in general does not equate to being supportive of this particular proposal to put in a fenced, wood chipped urban dog park at this valuable, much-loved, variously used location surrounded by heavy traffic. We believe that the dogs, dog-owners and people of Oakland would be better served by other plans than this. Feel free to explore our site and read the documents we have assembled related to this issue.
Park, also known as Eastshore Park, is ODOG’s proposed location for the
Lakeview Dog Play Area. The following
document was prepared by Save Astro Park (www.saveastropark.org), a group of citizens living near
Lake Merritt who oppose this dog run. The document details specific reasons why
this central parkland is the wrong choice for a fenced dog area. The information
is presented in a format that addresses the conditional use permit application
process including: change of use considerations, principles of open space and
fit with Oakland’s Master Plan.
Astro Park strongly believes that the Lakeview Dog Park is in a highly
unsuitable location that would adversely impact those currently using the space
including park visitors, children, business owners, city staff and even the
dogs for which this facility is planned.
submitted use application does not comply with the OSCAR (Open Space,
Conservation and Recreation) Element of the City’s General Plan, which is
state-mandated policy for evaluating a project of this kind—a project that
proposes to take open space and convert it to another use.
A recently held, widely
attended community meeting showed that 70% of the people in attendance found
the location of this proposal to be problematic regardless of whether or not
they were for or against the dog park. In light of the community concerns as
well as policy considerations we ask that the application for a minor
conditional use permit for the Lakeview Dog Play Area be denied.
Opposition Argument Summary
- Locating a
dog park in the middle of a highly visible, high density retail environment is
inappropriate and unwise fiscally and aesthetically.
- The dog park
would remove 50% of an open playfield currently depended upon by residents and
recreation use is identified by OSCAR as being inadequately served in the Lake
- Maintaining a
dog park in this location is not sustainable. The high visibility requires
maintenance standards that could not nor should be left up to a volunteer
- Parking is
already stressed in the area. The dog park proposal would only add to the parking
- The area sits
atop two major watershed creeks and is saturated with rain water during winter
and spring months.
- The proposed
location is next to a tot lot, raising concerns regarding incompatibility and
- OSCAR guidelines described above mandate that new dog
parks be located in underutilized spaces, not high value, existing playfields.
- The original
dog park proposal followed appropriate process by being reviewed in 2004 and
2006 community meetings, but the design proposal at that time was for a highly
improved $400,000 dog park.
- The cost
estimate for the current proposal is $45,000 —only 11% of the original
budget. No pre-development community
meetings were held to gather input, even though concerns began surfacing in
community email groups in mid-2009.
- A dog park
with a small capital budget and a dubious maintenance strategy should be
located in a less visible location.
- The location
is too noisy and too busy for dogs and too dangerous if a dog were to get loose
- There is a
much better alternative location for a
dog park at Lake Merritt that avoids virtually every concern brought up with
the Astro/Eastshore Park location.