Attention local dog owners: weigh in on dog regulations for San Mateo County parks

by Contributed Content on September 12, 2017

Local dog owners can give their opinions about dog regulations at San Mateo Parks in an online survey that will be available through noon on Friday, September 15 .

For the past 11 months the San Mateo County Parks’ Dog Management Committee, comprised of 10 community members appointed by the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Commission, has been drafting policy recommendations to assist the Parks Department in developing dog management policies for all San Mateo County Parks.

During the process, the Committee has reviewed the dog management practices of other agencies in the Bay Area and other states, received presentations by topic experts, including water quality professionals and the Peninsula Humane Society, and reviewed published material. The Committee has also received oral and written comments on dogs in parks at public meetings, and through email and a survey. Committee meetings have been open to the public throughout the process.

The Committee’s work is now reflected in an overarching policy recommendation accompanied by 10 secondary policies on such topics as conflict avoidance, protection of natural resources, enforcement, and consideration of new dog access areas. The policies do not identify specific park locations where dog access will change.

“The policies provide the guidance by which the Department will consider and evaluate locations for dog access,” says Sarah Birkeland, acting Parks Director. According to Birkeland, one example of applying a policy is that of conflict avoidance which could lead the Department to avoid introducing dog access in parks that have long-standing and heavy use by equestrians.

The Committee invites the community to review its recommendations at three meetings:

  • September 6: Veterans Senior Memorial Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City
  • September 7: Burlingame Park and Recreation Department, 850 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame
  • September 14: San Pedro Valley Park, 600 Oddstad Blvd, Pacifica

The meetings will begin at 7 pm and conclude at 8:30 pm. Each meeting will feature work stations in order to facilitate conversations about policy recommendations and obtain participant’s specific suggestions for changes.

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2017; Menlo Park resident Dennis Nugent with his dog Maggie at Baylands Park in Palo Alto, which is dog friendly

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