Update: One day after the Coronado city council meeting, the school district superintendent said the district is withdrawing the plan to build a dog park on a school playground.
A dog park fight is dividing Coronado residents.
During a jam-packed council meeting Tuesday, council members decided to hold off making a decision on whether to build a new dog park on part of a school playground.
The proposed joint plan between the city and the Coronado Unified School District would turn part of the playground at the "Early Childhood Development Center" on Sixth Street into a fenced-in dog park. The playground is less than an acre.
“I’m not anti-dog parks. I’m anti-putting a dog park on school grounds,” said Heather Patino.
Patino is a former dog owner whose daughter will soon attend the school. She's among the people who packed Tuesday's council meeting to speak out against the plan.
Some cited concerns about dog waste and the park possibly luring pedophiles.
“We’re spending all this time trying to secure our schools,” said Patino. “We’re trying to protect our kids then you're opening the back door to let people come in. "
In a 3-1 vote, council members decided to delay a decision in order to consider additional sites and solutions.
“I think it was the right decision,” said father and dog owner Akshay Sateesh who spoke in favor of the dog park.
Though a fence would separate the dog park from the children's play area, he understands the concerns.
“We owe it to our community, whether it's parents, kids or dog owners, to take the time and flesh out each one of these issues."
Because the school district owns the playground, under the proposal the city of Coronado would pay the district $60,000 a year - money councilmembers say could help financial issues in the district.
Parents say it’s not enough if there's a dog bite or other issues.
Councilmembers discussed talking to the Port of San Diego about the golf course. They also mentioned possibly fencing in an area on the Cays.
There are 21 parks in Coronado. Only four allow dogs. None off-leash.