nctimes.com: ENCINITAS: Dog politics to dominate City Hall meetings next week
On Tuesday, the city's Parks and Recreation Commission will consider whether to allow off-leash dogs at Hawk View Park on Heron Avenue and Glen Park on Orinda Drive.
That meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall, is expected to become intense because homeowners near the two parks are divided over the issue, residents and city officials said Friday.
If the commission decides to support off-leash hours at the two parks, it will probably recommend that the hours be identical to what exists at the three city parks where off-leash dogs currently are allowed, Commissioner Doug Long said Friday.
Those three parks --- Orpheus Park in Leucadia, Sun Vista Park in Olivenhain and Viewpoint Park on D Street near City Hall ---- now allow dogs to run leash-free from 6 to 7:30 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
However, those off-leash hours may change.
On Wednesday, the City Council will consider whether to expand them and allow off-leash dogs from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 8 p.m. on those days as well as on Sundays.
Debate over whether to give dogs more freedom in city parks jumped into the public spotlight last summer when sheriff's deputies ticketed 18 people with off-leash dogs at Viewpoint, Orpheus and Hawk View parks. The tickets were issued about a half hour after the nighttime off-leash hours ended at Viewpoint and Orpheus parks.
People who got the $445 tickets, as well as other off-leash dog supporters, have lobbied fiercely since to get the city to increase its off-leash periods. The city's mayor said Friday that she believes the new expanded-hours proposal meets those requests.
People in Encinitas are very passionate about their dogs. There are many pet stores and veterinarians located in Encinitas that are major contributors to our local economy.
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