The Dolores Park renovation was moving along swimmingly. After a thousand community meetings, the plan was finally supported by the majority of folks involved. But since no plan can ever satisfy everyone in San Francisco, an appeal was filed over the two off-leash dog play areas. Yes, you read that correctly - after a community vetting process that got so exhaustive that there were discussions on the nitty gritty of toilet design, one neighbor decided to cog up the gears because "2 off-leash dog play areas are by no means acceptable to many families with school-aged children who are using this park" and would "result in a loss of open space."
existing Dolores Park (click to enlarge) [Photo: SF Planning (pdf)]
proposed Dolores Park (click to enlarge) [Photo: SF Planning (pdf)]
The appeal is over the finding that the renovations are exempt from full environmental review. Apparently the appellant failed to see that the total amount of dog run area in the new design is LESS than what currently exists at the park - the plan reduces the existing two off-leash dog runs from 100,250 sq.ft. to 96,250 sq.ft. Dog advocates, we beg of you, please don't file another appeal in response. Some of our favorite lines from the appeal:
- dog runs create "hazard and health risks" (ie. lots of poop) and, no joke, "kids and dogs do not mix well"
- the park needs more open space because of the "desperate need for open space for children to run and play in order to stem childhood obesity pandemic" (remember, the renovations make the dog runs smaller)
- "off-leash dog parks with their modern trappings of plastic bag holders etc. substantially degrade the existing visual character and quality of the beautiful open space park" aka dog parks are ugly
- "more non-neighborhood professional dog walkers and dog owners" will cause increase in noise and traffic, because apparently Dolores Park is only open to people who live in the Mission
- the dog runs will "result in inadequate parking capacity", because it wouldn't be a true San Francisco appeal if someone wasn't complaining about parking
Needless to say, the Planning Department is not convinced that the finding should be changed, and are recommending the Planning Commission uphold the exemption at tomorrow's hearing.
· Childish Behavior [Curbed SF]
· Appeal for Mission Dolores Park Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (pdf) [SF Planning]
· Previous Coverage of Dolores Park [Curbed SF archives]